School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5 Up-These attractive volumes invite readers to experience world geography and history by studying and re-creating the folk art of the regions. Southwest Pacific features X-ray painting from Australia, carved wooden shields from Papua New Guinea, a taaniko (woven bracelet) from New Zealand, and a batik wall hanging from Indonesia. Projects in Northern Asia include handmade quilted felt from Mongolia, papier-m ch masks from South Korea, scissor-cut scenes from China, and shibori (cloth dyeing) from Japan. The authors profile each country with a well-detailed history of the land, the people, and their traditional art; a sidebar of quick facts; and a full-page color map incorporating thumbnail photographs of major historical, geographical, and cultural features. The how-to sections guide readers through the crafting process with clear, well-illustrated, step-by-step directions, providing a list of materials and tools, helpful hints, and frequent reminders that adult supervision is imperative. A few of the projects are quite ambitious, requiring specialized or hard-to-use tools such as wool carders and chisels; most, however, involve readily available materials and average agility with tools. Readers who choose not to attempt the projects can appreciate seeing how these works of art take shape and what they may reveal about the religious, political, and social life of the indigenous peoples who first made them. These unique titles have much to offer.-William McLoughlin, Brookside School, Worthington, OH Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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