Romanek, Trudee illus. by Rose Cowles. Squirt!: The Most Interesting Book You’ll Ever Read about Blood. Kids Can Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1553377764 40 pp. $
The title certainly lives up to its name. Covering the history of our knowledge about the the red stuff that flows through our veins, this fascinating book touches on diseases, blood types, legends, and more. Jam-packed with facts delivered in an engaging tone, the trivia and stats will amaze and delight as kids learn not just about the circulation system, but how blood fits into all the body systems and functions. Examples come not just from humans, but from many parts of the animal kingdom. Measurements are given in English and metric.
The design is excellent–colorful and high contrast, with plenty of space around graphics, subtly textured backgrounds to add interests, stylized cartoonish illustrations and clear diagrams. Illustrations reflect a diverse audience. Each two page spread is divided, with a narrative on the left and a sidebar on the right, that might contain a biography of a person or disease, an explanation of a process, or a “You Try It” exercise (such as the excellent how to build a model of blood with seed beads) for hands-on learning.
Recommended for all collections, for browsing or reports.
Ellen Warwick illus. by Bernice Lum. Injeanuity. Kids Can Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1553376811 80 pp. $
This “injeanious” spiral bound DIY book encourages thrift and reuse and promotes creativity with seventeen sewing projects made from recycled jeans (or pieces of them). Beginning with tips on working with denim and a four page sewing primer that includes embroidery and applique basics, readers willl learn sewing terms and techniques to get through the next 65 pages.
Step by step instructions teach teen girls how to embellish old or boring dungarees into glam and festive pants with attitude by adding embroidery, buttons, ribbon, fringe, beads and more. Special projects for growing girls include turning ill-fitting jeans into elastic waisted pants and velcro wraparounds, lenghtening cuffs into homemade bell bottoms, and expanding legs with a fabric panel.
Additional projects include snazzy pocket slippers, clever book covers, a cute kerchief, and two purses. Money-saving tips are sprinkled throughout the text. The projects are not arranged from simple to expert; several are very simple for the novice, such as stitching a ribbon (or five) around the cuffs of your jeans.
Measurements are given in English and metric. Each entry includes a supply klist with notes on where to locate obscure items (such as bead chain for a purse string from the hardware store). Lum’s clear and expressive illustrations are a perfect match to Warwick’s sassy style. The cast of characters depicted working on the projects is diverse. Close up photos serve as an inspiration for the finished product, with Warwick giving additional suggestions to personalize, advocating customization. Patterns for the applique and embroidery projects are drawn right on the inside of the sturdy back cover for easy tracing.