By Joel Henriques
Trumpeter,  $18.95, 207 pages

Made to Play by Joel Henriques is a book that this reviewer feels every parent who has young children should own.  Henriques details different crafts and toys that can be made with children or for them. Many of the items are easy to make and only require standard craft items like construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, etc. The more advanced projects include the use of a saw, sand paper, screws, etc. This reviewer particularly enjoyed the paper zoo animal project paired with a zoo mat and the build-a-scene project. The paper zoo animals are made from stiff paper and then drawn on and folded so they stand. The author provides templates at the back of the book for the reader to make the animals. The build-a-scene includes cutting wood scenery items out and fitting them into a wooden track (that you also make) that has slots. The items then stand up on their own creating a backdrop. The author provides a craft for every level. The book is well organized and the directions provided are clear and easy to follow. Each craft is a great way to spend time with a child and engage them in conversation and imaginative play at the same time.

“…the imperfections in handmade toys is what makes them special…”

Jina Oravetz