Most helpful critical review
Crafts and Recipes for Most of the Family...
on January 29, 2004
Ok...this is a 96 page book concentrating on Easter (crafts and recipes). I had high hopes for it, based on the wonderful valentine volume in the same series (also available, Summer Time Treats, Halloween Treats, and Christmas Treats). I love the layout and format of the book...it's a soft cover book that is easy to handle. I do have concerns about the long term sturdiness of the book when actually doing the crafts and making the recipes...I don't know that the binding will hold up over the "long haul." I do like the overall cover design and layout -- very nice and visually appealing!
In the introduction, the author says:
"Easter is one of the most joyous holidays in Christianity, celebrates the resurrection of Christ. The Easter season is also a time when we honor the unity of our family and friends, welcome spring,,and revel in the awakening beauty of nature after the long days of winter."
Now, obviously, since I'm reviewing this volume from a Wiccan/Pagan perspective...I simply cannot "get behind" the first part of this...but I can whole heartedly embrace the latter part!! I did enjoy the very brief blurb in the introduction about the Germanic origins of Easter Eggs...but would like to have seen a more original suggestion than an Easter Egg Decorating Party for the "ideal" holiday get together!
You will also find standard tips for Boiling blowing, and dyeing your eggs.
As a book of "Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family," I find this somewhat lacking in the "whole family" area!! Perhaps if your family consists of you and your husband or you and an older child or two, this might apply -- but for people like me (kids ages 3 and 5)...who are looking for a mix of elegant adult crafts and and fun and/or easy kids crafts...this books leaves me wanting. Certainly not in the adult crafting area -- there are a plethora to be had in this area -- but in easy, fun kids projects, there is MUCH to be desired!!
Page 18 has a cute Easter Egg Tree idea, but the ribbon eggs (which are stunningly beautiful) are WAY too complex for small children -- older children or teens looking for a bit of elegance might enjoy this seemingly time consuming project...
As with the Ribbon Eggs, the Washi Eggs (pg 22) and Candy Cones (pg 29) do not seem like kid friendly project either...they ARE beautiful, but definitely an adult project!
The Easy Easter Daisies (pg 25) and brilliant yellow dyed eggs would look STUNNING on an altar, there is just something about them that says SPRING...and with a bit of adjustment on the size of the daisy pattern, could easily be done by younger children!!
The Starry Sky Eggs (26), Jelly Bean Bags (32) and Marzipan Play Dough (Also pg 32) would all be well received by kids of all ages...and easy enough for them to enjoy doing...small kids will need help tying the bags on the jelly beans (be sure to have extra beans, snacking is inevitable with this project -- and half the fun...lol). There are also several projects (like bunny ears and finger puppets for younger children...but my kids already do this stuff at school and I was hoping for a few NEW ideas to do with them!!
The secret message eggs are a very cute and fun idea -- kids (with parents help) should delightin making and then smashing them (or helping the recipient to smash) to get at the message -- this craft also has possible applications for magickal workings -- I know you magickal crafters out there have your motors running already!!!
All the recipes (with the exception of the "chicken feed," pg 26) are adult caliber -- I would not attempt any of these -- well, perhaps the Easter Bonnet Shortbread ones (72)...but they would NOT look as elegant and refined as the ones pictured in the book...kids LOVE to decorate cookies...so this one is a definite kid friendly food project!!
So...overall I give this book:
B- for Content -- rated as a book for the "whole family," I find that it's lacking in easier recipes and crafts for kids younger than 8 or 10, but RICH in ideas for the adult crafter and certainly plenty that the adult Wiccan looking to spruce up that spring altar!! Not much I found here in the way of magickal application (beyond altar decoration...and the possibilities for spell work with the Secret Message Eggs). I would recommend it but not as a "main" source for your magickal library...
B+ for Price -- same as the Valentines for size and content...I'd really expect to see a price of 9.95 or slightly less -- with a 14.95 list price and about a 12.00 price tag on Amazon...its' a tad higher than I'd expect or like to see!
Cannot wait 'til I can afford to get the other three in this series, despite my dislikes about this volume, overall I think it's a good buy... and frankly I'm hooked and must have the rest!! Look for my reveiws of them when I can afford to buy them!!