I mentioned that the posts about the creation of the artwork began in July of 2007. In January of 2008 Anna shared that the artwork was complete, save for the jacket. In July Anna shared images from the proof of her book. By January of 2009, Anna was already working on ideas for a sequel! At long last, on March 31st, the date of official publication arrived. Phew!
Anna's hard work, long hours and persistence paid off, because What Can You Do With An Old Red Shoe? is a wonderful combination of poetry and crafting for kids. Here's how the book begins.
This book is all about the ways in which you can reuse and recycle. Each project introduces an art activity that reuses materials you can find in your home. Some of the activities require the help of an adult.There are a total of 12 activities for recycling old materials, 8 of which require some form of adult assistance. Materials given new life include a flip-flop, bits of old crayon, a worn blanket, empty tin cans, and more. Each double-page spread begins with a poem. Here's the one from the page that asks "What can you do with bits of old crayon?"
Reusing is a fun way to reinvent worn items. It's also a great way to help conserve our natural resources (like the trees used to make paper) and create less trash to store in landfills. By finding new ways to use old things instead of throwing them away, we can help to keep the environment clean and healthy. If we share in the responsibility of taking care of our world, we can all enjoy it together!
Trina is an artist
who doesn't like to stop.
She's colored the walls in her art room,
the bottom to the top.
The walls are one big canvas
and never look complete.
She's worn out all her crayons—
a great artistic feat.
- Lots of used crayons
- An old metal bowl or pot (used only for crafts)
- An ice cube tray
The completed image of Jack the bunny (seen above) can be found on the page with the question "What can you do with a worn blanket?" Here's the poem that begins this activity.
Jack's blanket was stained,Here's what the first half of the spread looks like.
it was damp,
it was done—
a mere ghost of a blanket
made pale from the sun.
The fabric had worn,
a soft gauze to the touch.
Jack gave it a squeeze
for he loved it so much.
Alter then shows/describes how Jack's worn blanket can be used to create a handkerchief and a patch for his old jeans. Here's what the second half of the spread looks like.
At the end of the book readers will find tips for kids and grown-ups on reuse and recycling. The final page contains information on hand sewing stitches for the projects using the worn blanket and raggedy T-shirt.
Alter has created a terrific web site to support the book at www.oldredshoe.com. You can read about how the book was created, download coloring and activity sheets (under free stuff), and find some fabulous teacher resources and activity ideas for using this book in the classroom.
This book is a terrific choice for simple, creative art projects at home and in this classroom. The materials needed are easily accessible and the steps are not complicated and do not require extraordinary amounts of time to complete. Kids will enjoy giving new life to worn materials and may even dream up their own crafty ideas for old stuff as a result of working through the projects in this book.
I'm crazy about this book, as is my eight-year old. We've had a great deal of fun in the last month trying out the projects. You'll be happy to know that Anna is already hard at work on sequel. The kazoo activity looks like it will be a blast! I hope you check out this book and try some of the activities with your budding artists. You won't be disappointed with the results. Recommended with enthusiasm!
Book: What Can You Do With An Old Red Shoe?
Author: Anna Alter
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 32 pages
Source of Book: Copy received from publisher.
If you've read this far you now have a chance to win a copy of What Can You Do With An Old Red Shoe?. Leave your best recycling craft idea in the comments before midnight tonight. Three lucky winners will be chosen at random on Tuesday morning.