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I Made It Myself Christmas: 38 Festive Crafts And Recipes
from Nick Jr.
ages 4-8 24 pages Chronicle Books October 2004 Spiral bound    

Nick Jr.ís I Made it Myself! Christmas has stickers, punch-out paper toys, and other fun extras that are sure to make little kidís eyes light up. The book is also stuffed with craft projects, recipes, and decorating ideas.

Maybe a little too stuffed. Most of the craft project instructions are crammed into single paragraphs. Only the paper snowflake project offers more than a single illustration of the finished product. Projects are arranged by materials needed, which is helpful, and none of the crafts are terribly complicated by adult standards. Still, the more detailed instructions provided for the recipe makes a busy adultís job easier, and gives small children a better chance of following along with the project.

The varied level of the crafts is also somewhat confusing. The directions urge adult supervision for all operations that involve cutting. But is a child too young to cut a piece of cardboard really ready to handle the flames needed in the paper bag light project? Tying a string through a pre-cut paper ornament is a world of difficulty away from even the simplest cookie recipe, let alone decorate a gingerbread house.

Of course, all the vague instructions and child-confusing crafts could be a clever plot by Nick Jr. to force parents to actually play with their children. Even popcorn ball snowmen arenít much of a challenge for someone gifted with the patience, dexterity and skills of the average parent. The recipes in particular deliver a good return for the effort involved. And for those willing to follow the condensed directions, every project in the book will bring back memories-- or make them.
 
Beginning readers book reviews for developing, emerging and fluent readers

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