Part of the "Super Sandcastle" series, which is designed to enrich reading skills for children in second through fourth grades, should offer something of interest for slightly older and younger children, as well. The book offers step-by-step directions for making a variety of refrigerator-type magnet crafts, including animals, picture frames, and decorative marbles, bottle caps, and clothespins. The directions are very clearly written and presented in the same well-organized format throughout the book. Excellent full-color photographs illustrate each step of the process as well as the finished product. A short glossary emphasizes new vocabulary introduced in this book. There are also tools to help the young reader get organized, including a table of contents and a list of suggested supplies for the projects. Each project includes a separate list of supplies needed specifically to create that type of magnet. Although the series includes symbols to warn children when adult help is suggested for an activity, they are not needed in this book because each activity is safe and easy for the target audience to complete on its own. Younger or less-skilled children, however, may need some help with painting, cutting, and glue gun activities. Reviewer: Leigh Geiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4–Colorful photos; clean layout in a bright, primary palette; and large, abundant step-by-step instructional photos give these books great appeal. The 5-to-10 crafts in each book are functional and attractive. Art to Wear demonstrates how to paint shoelaces, and Clay Projects shows kids how to make a pencil holder out of an empty can, for example. Although the completed projects in the photos sometimes look a little too polished, most of the ideas do not rely on a child’s artistic ability, but rather suggest tracing a cookie cutter or using a picture from a magazine. This approach ensures some measure of success even for those who are not artistically inclined. Readily obtainable household materials and easy-to-follow instructions mean that children can do these crafts independently.