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.