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Arts and Crafts for Summer Fun

It's summertime and a great time to get crafty — with arts and crafts, that is! Crafts come in all shapes and sizes, from simple to complex. Some require paper and markers, and others just a natural enthusiasm for theatrical reading. With a little bit of imagination and a few easy-to-find supplies, you and your child can create pop-up cards, food from around the world and lots more. A great way to while away the longer days of summer. Take a look at any of these books to get you started!

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Creative Crafts for Kids: Over 100 Projects for Two to Ten Year Olds

By: Gill Dickinson
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Crisp color photographs with numbered instructions and recommended ages make this extensive collection of nifty ideas for everyday and special holiday crafts useful. Older children will be able to follow the ideas independently, while adults will likely work with younger children.

Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint Drawing Book

By: Ed Emberley
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Make a thumbprint, add a few lines, and voila! you get an instant cartoon! This easy-to-follow book helps even the youngest make fascinating, funny creatures.

Emeril's There's A Chef in My World! Recipes That Take You Places

By: Emeril Lagasse
Illustrated by: Charles Yuen
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

People the world over have one thing in common: from England to China, from Greece to Brazil and all places in-between, everyone eats! Starting with kitchen basics, the well-known chef guides a world culinary tour. Adults and kids are bound to enjoy making and eating these tempting recipes.

Funny Face

By: Nicola Smee
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

A bald little boy loves playing with his dog and his ball (and the bears he meets), showing a range of emotions through changing faces. Young readers are encouraged to make the same faces — and to look at their face on the last mirrored page. They're sure to enjoy this introduction to the art of acting!

Hand Art

By: Rachel Tandy
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Create bugs, birds, and more, starting with a pattern of your hand. Easy directions provide jumpstarts for creative activities. An open format provides the helping hand while encouraging creativity.

Let's Make It Pop-Up

By: David Carter, James Diaz
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

All of the supplies are provided, along with explicit directions to make a variety of pop-ups — everything from a big mouth frog to a gingerbread house. Building on the basic ideas, variations are suggested to make more pop-ups. You can write a story or make a card with this colorful paper art.

Look! Body Language in Art

By: Gillian Wolfe
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

How does classical art relate to contemporary children? By recognizing that there are universal ways to convey emotion through body language and facial expressions. Handsome reproductions, challenging questions, and activities are presented to encourage children and adults to examine art in a fresh way.

The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes

By: Doug Stillinger
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

From very easy to more challenging, paper airplane folding is a craft that soars! Clear instructions along with crisp photographs make these airplanes sure-fire hits to fold, fly, and decorate.

What Can You Do With a Paper Bag?

By: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

With a paper bag and a few other supplies, kids can make history come to life, travel to far-off places and try on other roles. Full color photographs of children in hats and head-dresses from around the world with easy-to-follow directions make these crafts that can lead to creative drama and more.

You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together

By: Mary Ann Hoberman
Illustrated by: Michael Emberley
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Rhyming tales written for two voices makes an ideal — and humorous — introduction to readers' theater. Well known fairy tales have been adapted, reorganized and reinvigorated with lively language and sprightly illustrations, worthy of many dramatizations.

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