Woodcarving ($14.95) is part of the Kid Crafts series
from Fox Chapel Publishing. The book is recommended for children
over age 10. Author Everett Ellenwood suggests having the child
work a soap-carving project from the book to test his maturity
level and ability to do the other projects in the book. Special
emphasis is given to safety and skill development, as the tools
used in woodcarving must be very sharp.
The introduction provides some basic guidelines for the book's
use. Don't overlook these pages in a craft book; they're the key
to making the book--and the crafts covered in it--safe and fun.
The first chapter gives an overview of the sources of wood for
carving, beginning of course with trees. Ellenwood explains the
differences between hardwood and softwood, tree growth, and the
best woods to carve.
The next two chapters cover the supplies and tools used in woodcarving.
Simple and clear instructions explain the care and use of the tools,
and carving skills are covered in depth with step-by-step illustrations.
If you don't know the ten parts of a gouge, this book will identify
them and give a concise description of each. There are even instructions
for skills related to sharpening and maintaining tools.
The first project, mentioned above, is a boat carved from soap.
It is a safe and simple way to apply some of the basic skills covered
earlier in the book. Next is a simple snowman Christmas ornament
requiring a few more tools and more carving skills. Each project
includes photos of the tools to be used along with lists of materials
and supplies needed. Skills used in each project are included in
these lists with page numbers your child can refer to for step-by-step
explanations of the skills. Be sure to read through the whole project
before gathering tools. Some of the tool lists are incomplete.
Some of the projects in Woodcarving are practical for
a child. A wooden whistle, percussion frog, and name plaque are
among these. All of them are engaging and reinforce the knowledge
and skills presented in the first part of the book. Woodcarving is
a great way to introduce a child to craft skills that can serve
him for a lifetime. Sometimes craft books are more about making
memories than about building knowledge and skills. Woodcarving is
a perfect example of one that does both.