Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crafty Chloe, by Kelly DiPucchio (ages 4 - 8) - creative fun!

One of my favorite moments is watching a child completely engrossed in creating something. I love watching their focus, their imagination at work, the way they pull things together to create something out of raw ingredients. Kelly DiPucchio's new book, Crafty Chloe, celebrates this creative spirit with zest and gusto, and plenty of sparkly attitude.

Crafty Chloe
by Kelly DiPucchio
illustrations by Heather Ross
NY: Atheneum / Simon and Schuster, 2012
ages 4 - 8
available at your local library, favorite bookstore or on Amazon
Chloe faces a dilemma that will be all too familiar to many girls. Chloe has been invited to her best friend Emma's birthday party, and she's searching for the perfect gift. Oh how she wants to give her a Violet the Flower Doll - that's all Emma talks about! But London announces smugly that she's already gotten Emma that doll. Chloe is devastated and can't think what to do.

Chloe is never one to follow the crowd. She isn't very good at soccer, or video games, or ballet. But "what Chloe is very good at is making stuff. She knows that a whole new outfit can be made out of Dad's old shirts, and that coffee filters make very good flower hats for show-and-tell, and that anything becomes less boring with googly eyes on it."

After some serious doodling, lots of glitter, gluing, painting and sewing, Chloe comes up with her own perfect present for Emma. In an utterly satisfying ending with a surprising twist, Chloe gracefully helps London and makes her best friend happy as can be.

Children will adore Chloe, connecting to her dilemma, her every-day activities, her creative sparkle, her  drama, but above all, her heart. Heather Ross's pencil illustrations, colored digitally, balance pink pastels with delightful individuality. Her facial expressions convey great emotion, whether it's Chloe's determined focus or her mother's harried exasperation. DiPucchio has created a simple story that draws readers back again and again, as they celebrate Chloe's creative spirit and kind heart.

Does your child love doing crafts? Check out the Crafty Chloe website for lots of great easy ideas. I love the simple way they've created a fluffy tutu with almost no sewing. And I know many kids will have a blast creating glow-in-the-dark stamps for their PJs!

Check out these other reviews:
* starred review on Kirkus Reviews
* KidsRead review

The review copy was kindly sent by the publishers, Simon and Schuster. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books


  1. This is such a great book! I borrowed it from my local library and read it to my daughters-4 1/2 & 2 1/2-and the loved it! They are crafty girls so this was right up their alley. Also, we are going to make the tutu and the Violet doll bed and we just need to find a doll that will work as Violet!

  2. It was a fun book and London seemed like a tiny Paris Hilton who Chloe helped with her crafty-ness.