Adventures in Cold Places
Lonely Planet Kids, lonelyplanetkids.com
US$9.99
Editor’s Note: From learning to ski in Switzerland and filling the wooden log box with stickers for the Swiss Alps to hanging out with Canada’s beavers and filling his lodge with sporty stickers, there is lots to do and learn in this book. You can colour the totem poles, learn about the coldest place on Earth (Antarctica) and complete mazes and spot the differences. What a great book.

Boycraft, Loads of things to make for and with boys (and girls)
Sara Duchars
Quarto Publishing Group, http://www.qbookshop.com
$21.95
Boys love making stuff. Not just model boats and paper airplanes, but knitting scarves, sawing and hammering. BoyCraft will inspire and help boys flex their creative muscles.
Editor’s Note: My six year old loves to do all sorts of crafty things. The Little Log Bugs, Stilts and Elastic Band car will be fun to create.

Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More, The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont

Etta Kaner
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/
$19.95
Imagine a house heated by the warmth of the ground or skyscrapers cooled by blocks of ice. Engineers and architects are making them happen. Read through Corry Lapont, 12, journal for green engineering around the world.
Editor’s Note: This book has a mix of a graphic novel with real pictures and small chunks of information thrown in. Canada makes the list – the Confederation Bridge as well as Toronto’s own Rogers Centre (SkyDome).

How Many Socks Make a Pair, Surprisingly Interesting Everyday Math
Rob Eastaway
Quarto Publishing Group, http://www.qbookshop.com
$16.95
How many socks make a pair? The answer is not always two. And behind this questions lies a world of math that can be surprising, amusing and even beautiful.
Editor’s Note: I really dislike math so a book that claims math is fun and amusing doesn’t really make sense to me. For example, A man leaves his tent. He walks one mile south. Then he walks one mile east. Then he walks one mile north. To his surprise, he now discovers he is back at his tent and at this moment he spots a bear. What colour is the bear? Not only do I not know, the question goes on and becomes more complicated. Sadly, or maybe happily, my son loves this book. To the math people of the world, this one is for you.

Kitchen Science Lab for Kids, 52 Family Friendly Experiments from Around the House
Liz Heinecke
Quarry Books, http://www.quarrybooks.com
$27.99
At-home science provides an environment for freedom, creativity and invention that is not always possible in a school setting. And the 52 experiments can be used as individual projects, for parties or as educational activities for groups. Projects include Paper Bag Volcano; Marshmallow Slingshots; Climbing Salt Crystals; and Alien Monster Eggs.
Editor’s Note: What a great book. Many of the experiments my six year old and I have already completed, but with new twists. It’s not unusual, at 6 a.m., my son pulls out the book and wants to try creating a geyser or making rock candy.

I Can Make That
Mary Wallace
OwlKids, http://www.owlkidsbooks.com
$18.95
The book one librarian called “the best craft book she’d ever seen” has been updated and reissued to introduce a new generation of children to the fun of crafts.
Editor’s Note: There are a many of neat crafts in this book including people made from things found in nature. The instructions are easy to follow and the there are lots of pictures, a key to any good craft book.

If…A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers

David J. Smith
Kids Can Press, kidscanpress.com
$19.95
If the sun were the size of a grapefruit, Earth would be the size of a grain of salt. Even the largest planet, Jupiter, would be only as big as a large pea.
Editor’s Note: It’s a great book, but too advanced for my six-year-old son. It would be great for an older child, boy or girl. It takes large concepts such as our solar system or how Earth was formed and brings it down to a scale we can understand. For example, if the entire history of Earth was on a two-hour DVD, humans would appear in the last second of the video. While my son could see Earth was the size of a baseball and Uranus was the size of a basketball, he couldn’t understand the placement on a football field, but then neither could I. I am keeping this one for when he is older.

Pinterest Perfect!
Walter Foster Creative Team, http://www.walterfoster.com
$21.95
Designed to emulate the clean, elegant aesthetic Pinterest users recognize and love, Pinterest Perfect! features the artwork, projects and inspirational designs of talented artists and crafters, each of whom enjoys a sizeable fan base in the digital space and elsewhere.
Filled with step-by-step projects, tutorials, art tips, and crafting techniques on everything from drawing, painting, and illustration to mixed media, typography and paper crafts, each featured artist shares her unique art style with readers in an interactive and engaging format.
Editor’s Note: What a beautiful book. It makes me happy just to look at it. I like crafting, but I really am not good at it, but each craft offers step-by-step directions even I could follow.

Shapes in Math, Science and Nature, Squares, Triangles and Circles
Catherine Sheldrick Ross and Bill Slavin
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com
$24.95
Have you ever noticed you are surrounded by shapes? Get set to learn interesting facts about the simple shapes and their 3D counterparts  and master the basics of geometry.
Editor’s Note: I was so excited because I thought my six year old was learning about shapes in nature – it was patterns in nature. However, with lots of hands-on experiments including making your own cube bubbles and creating a tetrahedral (four triangles in a 3D shape) gift box, there was no shortage of things to learn and do in this book to make it fun.

The Paint Book, Loads of Things You Can Make or Do With Paint
Miri Flower
Quarto Publishing Group, http://www.qbookshop.com
$16.99
The Paint Book is bursting with inventive and imaginative ideas and things for children to make with paint. The book has sections on fun effects, crafty art, prints and doodles, and creating brushes and easy homemade paint.
Editor’s Note: Another beautiful book from Quarto Publishing Group, this book offers easy instructions and beautiful photos. While some I have done before (marble painting and painting with shaving cream – so much fun), others I have never thought of. My six-year-old son made a colour wheel that he proudly hung on the fridge. Looking forward to trying instant hearts and car painting.

The Pencil Book, Loads of Things You Can Make or Do With a Pencil
Miri Flower
Quarto Publishing Group, http://www.qbookshop.com
$16.99
The book provides a starting point for an active imagination and brings together drawing, creating, picture making, crafts, games and play. From creating a pencil pot out of pencils to playing pick-up-sticks or drawing a treasure map, there are no shortage of ideas in this book.
Editor’s Note: Designed in the same ways The Paint Book, this is another great book from Quarto.

The Wild City Book, loads of things to do outdoors in towns and cities

Jo Schofield
Quarto Publishing Group, http://www.qbookshop.com
$16.99
You don’t need to live in the country to have fun outdoors. Wild Cities is about making the most of parks, gardens, playground sand other urban areas, green or not including constructing a snail settlement, build a squirrel obstacle course, make leaf lanterns or stick totem poles.
Editor’s Note: What a beautiful book. This trade paperback offers great instructions and lots of photos. Now that we have snow, I can’t wait to try snowball mobiles, tree dressing and snow totem poles. What great fun.

Other books
Be a Wilderness Detective
Peggy Kochanoff
Nimbus Publishing, http://www.nimbus.ca
$14.95
Why is that tree lumpy? How do insects stay alive in the winter? What are tides, anyway? Biologist and artist Peggy Kochanoff answers these and many more questions. With simple language and beautifully accurate paintings, Kochanoff walks young readers through many nature puzzles, including identifying different types of animal poop and understanding how maple trees can be tapped without being harmed.

Folds in Fashion: The Art of Pleating in Clothing Design and Construction

Rosa Garcia Prieto
Firefly Books, fireflybooks.com
$19.95
The newfound fondness for fashionable handmade clothes is driving a robust market for sewing machines. The New York Times reports sales have more than doubled over the last decade. These creative sewers are hungry for resources to help them create personalized clothing. Folds in Fashion provides detailed instructions on how to make 24 basic projects that create sophisticated embellishments for contemporary fashion pieces. Experienced sewers will revel in the creative projects and ideas from Rosa Garcia Prieto.

Four Billion Years and Counting
Canadian Federation Of Earth Sciences
Nimbus Publishing, http://www.nimbus.ca
$39.95
Four Billion Years and Counting unveils the geological history of Canada and makes connections between geology and social issues such as climate change, hazards such as landslides and earthquakes and other environmental factors. The text features contributions from some 100 specialists and is richly illustrated with more than 500 colour photographs and diagrams.

Fun with Washi, 25 ways to Instantly Refresh Your Home, Accessories and Packages with Washi Tape
Jessica Okui
Raincoast Books, http://www.raincoast.com
$17.95
This craft books presents 25 sophisticated projects to create.

How to Make a Planet, A Step-by-Step Guide to Building the Earth
Scott Forbes
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/
$18.95
As you read the book, you’ll speed through 13.7 billion years that went into making Earth. You’ll also learn about gassy planet burps, massive millipedes and a meteoric extinction.

Knit It, Learn the Basics and Knit 22 Beautiful Projects

Melissa Leapman
Raincoast Books, http://www.raincoast.com
$27.95
This craft books lays the groundwork for lifetime of knitting – no prior skills are necessary. There are 22 projects including scarves and hearts.

LEGO Architecture: The Visual Guide
Philip Wilkinson
DK books, http://www.dk.com
$42
Beautifully illustrated and annotated, this visual guide takes a deep look at the artists, builders and inspiration behind the LEGO Architecture series. Inside the pages of this stylish guide to the LEGO Architecture series, readers will explore the LEGO team’s creative process in building and understand how LEGO artists translated such iconic buildings into these buildable LEGO sets. Stunning images and in-depth exploration of the real buildings like the Guggenheim, Big Ben or the Empire State Building on which the LEGO Architecture series is based, provide readers with a comprehensive look at the creation of these intricate sets.

Louise Loves Art
Kelly Light
HarperCollins, http://www.harpercollins.ca
$15.86
Louise loves art more than anything. It’s her imagination on the outside. She is determined to create a masterpiece – her pièce de résistance! Louise also loves Art, her little brother. This is their story. Louise Loves Art is a celebration of the brilliant artist who resides in all of us.

Make A Picture Sticker Book Castles
Felicity Brooks
Osborne Books, http://www.usbornebooksathome.ca
$8.95
An engaging sticker book which helps children practise fine motor skills allowing them to create their own colourful castle pictures.

Maisy’s Placemat Doodle Book

Lucy Cousins
Candlewick Press, http://www.candlewick.com
$11.99
Colour, doodle and draw until mealtime with Maisy and friends! An irresistible book of pull-out placemats.

Mosaic Sticker Animals
Nayera Everall
Osborne Books, http://www.usbornebooksathome.ca
$12.95
More than 1,000 little stickers that you can use to make all kinds of imaginative animal mosaics. Themed pages have suggestions to inspire you, or you create your own animals ­real or invented. Extra stickers can be used to add smaller details and turn your animal portraits into lively landscapes.

The Paper Hat Book, Super Hats for Super Kids
by Alyn Carlson
QBookshop, http://qbookshop.com/categories/45/Crafts-Hobbies.html
$19.99
Hats are pure fun and the perfect item to cap off any costume or ensemble. The right headgear ensures complete transformation, especially on the head of an imaginative child.
The Paper Hat Book offers creative families 20 fantastic paper hats, all of which can be created quickly and easily from readily accessible papers: shopping bags, newspapers, comics, recycled story books, magazines, packaging scraps and junk mail.

Painting in Acrylics: The Indispensable Guide
Lorena Kloosterboer
Firefly Books, fireflybooks.com
$35
This book provides comprehensive guidance for painters of all experience. Realist painter Lorena Kloosterboer, known for her exceptional technical skill, starts with the basics and progresses to advanced techniques and professional practice.

Simply Modern: Contemporary Designs for Hooked Rugs
Deanne Fitzpatrick
Nimbus, http://www.nimbus.ca/Simply-Modern-P6867.aspx
$34.95
With more than two decades of experience as a rug-hooker, celebrated fabric artist Deanne Fitzpatrick introduces readers to the possibilities of modern rug-hooking design. The book features more than 100 colour photographs of Fitzpatrick’s own projects and techniques, providing readers with reference points for turning their own experiences into gorgeous rug-hooked art.

Sneaky Art, Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight
Marthe Jocelyn
Candlewick Press, http://www.candlewick.com
$15
For young artists, tricksters and crafters, here is a hip, friendly how-to manual for creating removable and shareable art projects from easily found materials. The sneaky part is in the installation. Each work of art is custom-created for display in public places – a tiny cork-bottomed boat in a public fountain, a plate of tiny paper cupcakes on your teacher’s desk, a penny left on the ground for a stranger, a funny message left on your mother’s bathroom mirror and more.

Sticker Puzzle Town
Susannah Leigh
Osborne Books, http://www.usbornebooksathome.ca
$8.95
A satisfyingly challenging puzzle adventure for young children with a picture puzzle to solve on every double page. Designed to help develop essential skills including visual discrimination, sorting and matching, this book also tests readers’ comprehension, maths and logic skills. Stickers add a further interactive element.

This was originally published at insidetoronto.com

 

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