Sunday, June 7, 2015

101 Things to Do Before You Grow Up by Laura Dower -- ESSENTIAL

Dower, Laura 101 Things to Do Before You Grow Up: Fun Activities for You to Check off Your List, illustrated by Dan Bramall and Katie Knutton. NON-FICTION. Walter Foster (Quarto Publishing Group), 2014. $12.95. Content: PG.

Using one or two colorful pages each, this book does indeed detail 101 different activities and accomplishments for kids to master. The variety is huge and ranges from inventing a super-secret handshake, to making rock candy, to becoming a mad scientist. While one or two pages may not always be enough to actually "Get Map Smart" (#38) or "Master the Art of Origami" (#97), it's a perfect introduction to the skills and will likely inspire further research for kids who want to learn more. Which, hey, is actually a good thing. Some of the activities will be fine for independent children to do on their own, but others require the guidance of an adult, making this a fun tool to guide family or classroom activities. Best of all, I love that this book is gender-neutral -- nothing about any of the crafts, skills, or experiments specifically being for boys or girls. After all, many girls and boys love to "Grow a Worm Farm" (#34), "Be a Ventriloquist" (#50), and "Go on a Scavenger Hunt" (#76) -- often all in the course of a single weekend.

EL -- ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Caryn

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