Craft Books for Kids and Adults: Our Crafty Reading List

As the weather warms up even the teeniest of tiniest amounts, my friends and family members can be found outside lounging in a hammock enjoying a good new book. From the latest bestseller to a favorite series, sometimes there’s nothing more relaxing than getting lost in a good book outside on a Michigan spring day. For us crafters, there are some great newer titles to add to our must-read list, too! Here, we’re showing off a few that might perfect for you and your family this spring.

book-2Oh Joy! 60 Ways to Create and Give Joy by Joy Cho

If you’ve been following along with our weekly crafty updates here on Metro Parent you might remember that I’m a big fan of Joy Cho’s Oh Joy! blog and product lines from retailer Target. Cho’s been busy the past few years as evidence in her latest book, Oh Joy! 60 Ways to Create and Give Joy. The book hit store shelves last month much to the excitement of her loyal fans.

In this book, Cho offers a glimpse into what inspires her, from working with colors to picking favorite patterns. The book quickly moves on to projects, which vary from party decorations to silly jokes you and your children can enjoy. What I liked most about the book is its ability to get your creative juices flowing. The projects can be modified to be made by your children, by you or as a family together. There’s so much inspiration for parties big and small that you may find yourself reaching for your calendar to look for the nearest open date. The book wraps up by providing the needed templates to try the projects for yourself right away.

For daily inspiration online, make sure to follow Cho’s blog.

book-3All Lovely Things: A Field Journal for the Objects That Define Us
by Lea Redmond

Once again, I’m drawn to this book because I like the idea of a parent and child exploring the pages of it together. In Lea Redmond’s All Lovely Things, the author takes you on a journaling journey of collecting memories, stories and objects that mean so much to you. Perfect for a tween crafter who loves writing and doodling, this book takes you through exercises aimed at finding out what really drives you. The goal is remember the meaning behind the objects we use in our daily lives so that we remember them forever. Need a bit of help getting going with the assignments? Take a cue from famous authors or Alice in Wonderland herself.

book-4Modern Art Adventures: 36 Creative, Hands-on Projects Inspired by Artists from Monet to Bansky by Maja Pitamic and Jill Laidlaw

When I was little one of my favorite activities would be to have my parents take me to the Detroit Institute of Arts or Cranbrook Art Museum for casual strolls through the galleries. My favorite artist was Pablo Picasso and thanks to art books aimed at children, I felt like I was learning a lot, both about the artist and their respective creative styles. Flash forward to today and I’m excited to add Modern Art Adventures to my art library for my nieces and nephews.

As the title suggests authors Maja Pitamic and Jill Laidlaw take the reader, both young and old, through more than 30 activities aimed at teaching you about a specific artist technique that’s paired with a current hands-on activity.

One of my favorite examples from the book is a look at Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” The authors tell the story behind the painting and ask questions (“Can anyone actually hear the scream?”) to spark discussions. The following page provides the project, and in this case, it’s make-your-own “scream screen.” Think of it as an over-the-top selfie prop! There are quotes from children all throughout the book, as well as modifications on the projects to provide countless hours of artistic exploration.


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