Saturday, August 22, 2009

What Can You Do With an Old Red Shoe? by Anna Alter

Taking care of the Earth, reusing, and recycling is very important to me, and today you see a lot of books, cartoons, commercials, and toys that aim to teach kids how to do this. However, there are few products that actually seem as if they'd be interesting to kids.

Anna Alter's What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?: A Green Activity Book About Reuse is an exception.

Each spread begins with a little poem about how an object is no longer fit for its original purpose, and then different animal characters show kids, step-by-step, how they can reuse the old object instead of throwing it in the garbage.

For example, with an old flip-flop, you can make a stamp. You can turn an old shoe into a planter, or use odds and ends like buttons, bottle caps, and coins to make magnets and jewelry.

The step-by-step directions are easy to follow. Some are more complicated than others and may involve help from an adult, but the book is great at letting kids know what an adult should help with and how to safely execute each activity.

Not only is this a good book that offers fun crafts and activities for families to do together, but it shows children how to help keep "junk" out of the landfill and how to turn old objects into useful items.

Reading level: Ages 4-8 | Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) | March 31, 2009 | ISBN-13: 978-0805082906 | Source: Review copy from publisher


  1. The interesting part about this craft book is that each little craft has an accompanying story in the form of a poem. My daughter likes to read the book, both the poems and directions, like an ordinary picture book with me. And she has said to me when I've tried to throw away certain items, "don't throw that away, we can use it to make ..."

  2. This sounds great - certainly something I'll look out for. On a similar theme, have you come across Debi Gliori's The Trouble with Dragons - I think it's a great story book for introducing young kids to the idea that we need to take care of the planet. I'm hoping to review it on my blog in the next month.