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Make It!    by Jane Bull Amazon.com order for
Make It!
by Jane Bull
Order:  USA  Can
DK Publishing, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover
* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

Author Jane Bullís children's crafts book Make It! will certainly stand out on a bookshelf for the sheer uniqueness of its plain, brown cover. Bull's book of projects crafted with materials destined for landfills exemplifies environmental values on many levels.

The beautiful, heavy paper inside is Forest Stewardship Council certified, the card stock cover is recycled paper, and the printer used vegetable inks. Further, the publisher subscribes to the UN Global Compact, committing itself to principles of social and environmental justice. As impressive as this is, the book's contents are even more so.

A kaleidoscope of colors greets the eye once the book is opened. Notably, the book never steps outside the 4-8 year old age range of its audience, a feat other children's environment books often fail to achieve. Make It! starts off with a basic kid-level primer about landfills and incinerators, and a short explanation of the 3 R's of recycling. The four main section groupings of the book are paper, plastic, metal and fabric.

Each project shares encouraging and upbeat facts, and each step is clearly photographed. The younger ones within the age range can do all these projects with a little help from an adult, and the older ones can do them with a tiny bit of supervision at most. And they're fun! The projects aren't boring busywork, but are imaginative and useful. Most important, they teach earth stewardship at a level little recyclers can grasp.

Author Jane Bull has written several activity books for children, and has three children herself, who eagerly fill the roles of craft project testers. Bull certainly has another winner with Make It!

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