Sunday, August 23, 2009

What Can You Do With An Old Red Shoe?

What Can You Do With An Old Red Shoe? by Anna Alter
Recommended Ages: 4-8

I admit it, the catchy title definitely drew me in. I was perusing the New Book Shelves at the library when my eyes rested on What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?: A Green Activity Book About Reuse. I couldn't resist. Anna Alter has written and illustrated a delightful book with twelve recycling projects that kids will love.

Each project stars a different animal character and begins with a short poem about a problem such as "What can you do with a ripped shower curtain." or "What can you do with empty tin cans?" Alter shows you ways to turn the old items into something new. She gives you a supply list and offers easy step-by-step instructions. She also tells you if and when parental assistance is needed. Soon the shower curtain becomes an apron, and the tin can becomes a lantern.

Most of the projects seem quite doable, and ones that kids will be interested in. She shows how to make stamps out of old flip-flops (a perfect end-of-summer project), art supply baskets out of old berry baskets and (my favorite) a flower planter out of an old red shoe.

At the end of the book, Alter offers some practical recycling and reuse tips for kids and adults. I can see a family or a class using this book as a jump-start to some great conversations about recycling. I think what makes What Can You Do With An Old Red Shoe so much fun is how hands-on it is. Kids will be interested in the projects, and along the way will come up with their own ideas of how to reuse things.

BookNosher Tidbit: A friend of mine has a blog called Our Kids' Earth. It's an environmentally-minded blog geared for parents with young kids. Check it out for all sorts of facts and tips.

BookNosher Activity: Anna Alter has a website with lots of suggestions for parents and teachers on how to use the book, including a curriculum guide, activity sheets and other recycling resources.

1 comment:

carminette said...

We all looked through this book when it came in- very sweet and fun ideas. I also like "The Dumpster Diver" by Janet Wong as a picture book about repurposing worn and broken items.
Maybe it is the sign of the times, but we've been getting more and more 'recycled crafts' books lately. This is nothing new to librarians who've long known that a few egg cartons, milk jug caps, toilet paper tubes and pipe cleaners can go a long, long way.