Sunday, January 6, 2008

Easy Woodstuff for Kids

Today I'm going to take a look at a book that I can't remember enjoying as a child, but which must have been a big hit in the 80s, since we still have it sitting around our house today.

The name of the book is Easy Woodstuff for Kids, by David Thompson, with illustrations by Stacy Buhler. You can purchase it here for only one penny!

There are no pictures available on Amazon, so let me tell you about the cover! It shows a little Asian girl with thick bangs and OshKosh overalls looking dejectedly at a piece of string tied around some twigs. On a table in front of her there are, from L-R: a wooden tool box with some tools, a bit of a tree branch with some pencils stuck in it, and finally, a wooden plank with a teapot on it! But there are even more fun projects floating in the sky behind her head! Including: a piece of wood with a wooden cylinder sticking out of it! And, a piece of wood with some twigs glued to it!

Opening the book, we find the enticing table of contents, including such sections as "Sticks Are Made of Wood" where we can find instructions for projects such as "Write Your Name With Sticks." I can't wait until we get to "Scrap Wood Projects" like "A Wooden Trivet Made From A Piece Of Scrap Wood" and "Plywood Projects" like "A Tray Made From Three Pieces Of Plywood" and "The Magic Broom Holder"! I wonder what makes it magic!

Mr. Johnson's introduction is illuminating: "Children move quickly. Their hands move from one thing to another before we can see them. They have to be slowed down. Part of our role is slowing them down, making them conscious of what they are doing, and giving them the opportunity to do something slowly, carefully and deliberately." I can't wait!

A section titled "Hammer" lets us know that "Children love to hammer, but in order to hammer well, they need a good hammer." Another section on "Sanding" includes the lyrics to a little sanding song Mr. Johnson "often sings" while sanding. Sand, sand, sand your wood, Looking at the grain, When you think your work is done, It's time to start again. Back to work, kids!

In conclusion, "There are many more wonderful experiences to explore with wood. I wish we didn't have to stop here, but we do. Thank you for sharing in this experience."

Thank you, Mr. Johnson.

Now finish sanding my new dining set, Timmy.

1 comment:

wellsprings said...

The same book also shows you how to make a diagram of the kabbalistic sephirot with wood and twigs.