I’ve got a few book reviews I’d like to do this month. I’m gonna start with this one… Scrapbooking With Your Kids, a Leisure Arts Publication for Creating Keepsakes Magazine. I got this book as a part of my Scrapbook Rewards credit card (to be reviewed soon).
In doing reviews I would like to get my bias out right up front so you know where I am coming from. I don’t usually buy scrapbooking books. I’m not the kind of person who goes back to the same publication over and over for inspiration. I don’t find spending money on a book that I am only going to read through once a good use of my money. I’d rather have a magazine subscription that brings me new ideas frequently.
I ordered this book with only having the title and the photo of the cover. The title is “Scrapbooking” with your kids. I expected the book to be design tips for kids. Instead it turned out to be a step by step craft project book, about half of which happened to be scrapbook pages. My kids and I approach crafts in a very freestyle way. None of us really like to follow a step by step project. We get our own ideas then roll with it. Often my girls are more concerned with the process of creating rather than the finished product. For that reason I did not enjoy this book. If I am looking for a specific product-driven project I am likely to search the web, not turn to a book. In addition, I homeschool my kids so we are very comfortable doing projects together. I found this book to have the feeling of a publication aimed at scrappers who don’t usually do projects with their kids.
With all that being said, I do have some positive things to say about the book. The photos were beautiful and some of the projects certainly were cute. I liked the layout of the book with projects broken down into categories like parties, holidays and summer. There was a handy project listing in the index and a detailed supply list in the back.
Overall I would not have chosen this book if I were paying cash. (It did make good use of my credit card rewards points however.) I can see myself making some of the projects as gifts either for my kids or for other people. I don’t really see myself sitting down with my kids and saying, pick something to do today. I think kids get enough step-by-step activities in their lives. I think their art and craft time should be open to experience and experimentation with guidance and advice if they need help making a vision a reality. I can see leaving this book out in the living room to be accessible to my kids. If they happen to pick it up and want to make a project, I would be happy to help them finish it.
So think about who you are as a parent and who your kids are. Do they like just cutting, gluing and plopping stickers onto paper or do they really like to make a finish product? Are you comfortable looking at a picture of a project and thinking you could make that or do you need instructions on each part of the creation? This book may be for you. Or, if you are like me you might want to spend that money ($22.95 retail) on extra stickers and glitter instead.