School Library Journal:Toymaker Video ‘Charming and Captivating’

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The Toymaker’s Workshop with Rick Hartman, Vol. 1

Children will enjoy this charming and captivating yet low key production. In a simple and straightforward style, toymaker Rick Hartman demonstrates how to make three simple folk art toys–the Australian bull roar, the Indian whirligig puppet, and the Chinese catapult–from items easily found in most households. At the beginning, he stresses simple safety rules that he follows throughout his demonstrations. Not only does he show viewers how to make the toys, he also demonstrates how to make the simple tools required for the projects. After each of Hartman’s demonstrations, ethnically diverse groups of boys and girls create and enjoy the toys. Each project is clearly explained, but Hartman leaves plenty of room for creative opportunities for the participants. In a world where computer labs have replaced the tactile and creative opportunities of shop classes, this video is very welcome. The aural and visual qualities are excellent. The presentation lends itself to group and/or individual viewing. A welcome addition to school and public library collections. –Susan Price, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada.