Monday, April 9, 2012

Picture Book Monday - A review of Crafty Chloe

When I was a kid, I was always making things with my hands. The kitchen table had hard blobs of dried glue permanently attached to it because this was my favorite work space, and my hands were often blotched with ink from pens. Once I accidentally sewed a dress that I was making for Raggedy Anne to my own dress, and I was furious when I was told that I had to cut the doll dress free.

Today's picture book is about a crafty little girl who finds out that being crafty can be very rewarding.

Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrated by Heather Ross
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2012, 978-1-4424-2123-3
   Chloe is not very good at sports, and when it comes to dances lessons she has “the grace of a camel in roller skates.” There is one thing that she is good at though: Chloe is very good at making things. She can turn just about anything into a fantastic hand-made crafty creation, and she is really good at making clothes too.
   When Chloe is invited to Emma’s birthday party, she goes to the store to buy her what she hopes will be the perfect gift. She is just about to get Emma the new Flower Girl doll when London walks up and says that she is buying Emma the doll. Not knowing what else to say, Chloe says that she is going to make Emma a gift instead of buying one. Unfortunately, London is the kind of girl who does not appreciate hand-made gifts, and she makes it clear that she thinks Chloe’s gift is going to be a disaster.
   Though Chloe is so good at making things, in this instance she has no idea what to make for Emma. She gets so desperate that she even pretends that she is sick, for a while. Then Chloe’s mother mentions that Emma is going to have pony rides at her party. Chloe goes back to the drawing board, and then she gets to work. She has a present to make.
   There used to be a time when many presents were hand-made, and they were appreciated not only because the gifts were pretty or useful, but because the givers had spent a certain amount of time making them. These days very few people have the time or the inclination to make home-made gifts, which is rather a shame.
   In this excellent book, the author shows her young readers that a home-made gift is a precious thing, a one-of-a-kind present that is special because it was made with one person in mind. Through Chloe we see that people who make things with their hands put a part of themselves into what they make. 

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