HomeBooks by SubjectActivity BooksGift Books Guide: Kids’ Arts and Crafts

Gift Books Guide: Kids’ Arts and Crafts

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 7, 2010

The holiday season can bring out the “Martha” in all of us. Unfortunately, ’tis the season to zap away the time required to be a “Martha.” So … this book list (or book-ish, at least) can be used a few different ways:

  • The obvious: You are shopping for a budding artist or crafting enthusiast.
  • The handy: Use some of these books to entertain your children while you get busy baking cookies, writing Christmas cards, or putting your feet up while you sip on some spiked hot apple cider.
  • The clever: You like to give books, but the kids you are buying for can’t sit still long enough to read or be read to. Art and craft books are like reading trickery: The craft keeps fingers busy while the instructions keep minds reading.
    MoMA Make Art Mistakes: An Inspired Sketchbook for Everyone

by Museum of Modern Art New York

Reading level: All Ages

Diary: 128 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 27, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: With eye-catching interiors and playful activities, this open-ended sketchbook encourages would-be artists of all ages to look at the world around them and take chances expressing what they see. Inspiring and colorful graphic design will unleash the artist in anyone.

Add this book to your collection: MoMA Make Art Mistakes: An Inspired Sketchbook for Everyone

Play All Day

by Taro Gomi

Reading level: All Ages

Paperback: 116 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 1, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: Taro Gomi invites children to punch out more than 60 fantastic playthings, including ring-toss games, finger puppets, boxes, picture frames, a zoo’s worth of animals, and more! Packed with Gomi’s fun, accessible artwork and a delightful variety of games and toys, this book will appeal to children of all ages, engaging their imaginations and entertaining them all day long.

Add this book to your collection: Play All Day

MoMA Modern Shapes Lacing Cards: 10 Cards & 11 Laces

by Museum of Modern Art New York

Reading level: Ages 3 and up

Misc. Supplies: 10 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books (May 5, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: These unique lacing cards teach shapes, colors, and textures and develop hand-eye coordination with striking design and photography. Bright, colorful cards with die-cut shapes can be laced alone or laced together into a book or a piece of hanging art. Fundamental concepts have never been so versatile to use or fun to look at!

WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

Add this book to your collection: MoMA Modern Shapes Lacing Cards: 10 Cards & 11 Laces

Monster Comics

by Mike Herrod

Reading level: Ages 7 and up

Spiral-bound: 64 pages

Publisher: Blue Apple Books; Spi edition (October 20, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: Drawing monsters is fiendishly fun in Mike Herrod’s newest addition to his bestselling Comics to Go! series. The “invisible ink” pen and light reveal both the hidden images printed within the pages and the drawings and doodles kids create themselves. Fans of monsters can complete the comics or make up their own stories and will delight in the ghosts, goblins, witches, and vampires that fill the pages of this creepy collection.

Add this book to your collection: Monster Comics

Window Art (Klutz)

Reading level: Ages 8 and up

Spiral-bound: 58 pages

Publisher: Klutz; Spi edition (March 1, 2009)

Publisher’s synopsis: When we first came across these amazing window colors, we were impressed with how gorgeous the finished products looked. But we couldn’t help wondering whether real kids could get such fantastic results. So we did what we always do: We rounded up some real kids and let them try it out. Turns out making beautiful window art is about as simple as squirting mustard on a hot dog – and about sixty million times more fun. This classic edition of Window Art features tried-and-true, ready-to-trace designs, and six bottles of squirt-on, peel-off colors. Here’s how it works: Pick a design. Put one of the included plastic sleeves over the page. Trace the outline of your design using the black squeeze bottle, and use the remaining five Window Colors to color it in as you please. Once it’s dry, peel your design off the plastic and stick it on a window, shower door, mirror, or any other glass surface you like. If you change your mind about where you want it, just peel and stick it again and again. With Window Art, every room in the house gets a terrific view.

Add this book to your collection: Window Art (Klutz)

Fancy Friendship Bracelets (Klutz)

Reading level: Ages 8 and up

Spiral-bound: 60 pages

Publisher: Klutz; Spi Pap/to edition (October 1, 2009)

Publisher’s synopsis: Friendship Bracelets [was published] in 1996. Thirteen years and 2.3 million copies later, it has clearly established itself as a Klutz classic. A best-selling classic, in fact. It’s a hard act to follow—only a fool would even attempt it. So, of course, we couldn’t resist. Introducing Fancy Friendship Bracelets, the original Friendship Bracelet’s new best friend. We started with super-simple instructions for a flock of all-new bracelet designs. We added five different colors of cord and more than 200 sparkling beads. Then we threw in some stylish charms for good measure. The result is even better than we hoped. Fans of the first book will love this new one. With the how-to know-how of Anne Akers Johnson, the sparkle of beads and charms, and the novelty of all-new bracelet designs, Fancy Friendship Bracelets compliments the original book without duplicating it. So we’re keeping both books in print. This is the start of a beautiful friendship.

Add this book to your collection: Fancy Friendship Bracelets (Klutz)

Create Your Own Enchanted Storybook

By Creativity for Kids

Reading level: Ages 5-9

Publisher: Creativity for Kids

Publisher’s synopsis: Adorable castle-shaped book comes ready to decorate with markers, glitter stickers, color-in stickers and rhinestones. Write your story on the lined pages then use the blank pages for your illustrations. Open the drawbridge door and personalize the story with your name ? add your picture to the tower window too.

Add this book to your collection: Create Your Own Enchanted Storybook

Pinkalicious: The Perfectly Pink Collection

by Victoria Kann

Reading level: Ages 4-8


Publisher: HarperFestival; Pap/Pstr edition (October 26, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: This box of totally collectible Pinkalicious treasures contains three books (Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink, School Rules!, and Tickled Pink), a color-it-yourself poster, dozens of stickers, and three double-sided crayons.

Add this book to your collection: Pinkalicious: The Perfectly Pink Collection

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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