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Children's LiteratureWhat a wild, visual impact this book has! A pile of brightly colored bars of soap sitting upon a pile of bubbles starts off this fun and fantastic craft book. From the really explosive neon colors of "alphabet soap" to the muted, natural beauty of the "layered herb loaf," there's something for everyone (truly, the suggested projects are equally as attractive to boys as they are to girls). An introduction to soap making that is clear but not clinical starts off the fun. Buying a soap base is the one absolutely necessary purchase (although fragrance, coloring, pearlescent powder and cosmetic grade glitter sure jazz it up). Instructions that list "what you need" and enumerate "what to do" along with plenty of pictures explain the projects in detail. With a little imagination, interesting molds can be found around the house, such as a latex glove (think Halloween!), a popsicle mold or muffin tin lined with cupcake wrappers! Little toys can be encased in the soap, as can a picture of a child, pet or anything! Loaf soaps are popular among organized groups to make and sell at fundraisers. The possibilities are endless! A twelve-year-old girl shares her experience starting her own soap making business at the end of the book. There is also a troubleshooting guide and a metric conversion chart. Recommended. The "Kids' Crafts" series aims to provide an introduction to different crafts in an enjoyable way while fostering personal creative expression for children ages 8 to 14 (but would be appropriate for many adults as well). 2003, Lark Books/Sterling Publishing Co, Ages 8 to 14.
—Cindy L. Carolan