Today I Read…Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Cinderella Ate My DaughterToday I read Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein.

When Peggy Orenstein’s daughter was born, she was determined to raise her without falling into the princess trap. You know the one–the girl dressed in a hopelessly elaborate and glaringly pink gown, dreaming of the day her prince will come without actually getting up and seeing what’s taking him so darn long.

She began with the question of why girls love princesses so much, but quickly moved onto *do* all girls love everything princess, or are they trained to love princesses by the world around them? And where did this Princess Culture come from, and why? And is Princess Culture really a bad thing? What are the alternatives? And how can she save her daughter from the ravenous princess monsters?

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I found this one a while ago at my local Chapters, and I admit, it was the extremely pink glitter on the cover that drew my eye. Then the title, because I like fairy tales, especially the rewritten modern ones where princesses kick ass. I read the dust jacket and it sounded interesting (and it was $5), so I bought it and read it that night. So, kudos to the person who designed the cover, it worked.

I’m a little ambivalent about the Disney Princesses–I love the movies and the songs, but when I think about their storylines and characters critically…well, there are a lot of problems, as well as a lot of good things. Belle was (is) my favourite, because she had brown hair and brown eyes and liked blue and reading, just like me! But when I was eight I discovered Star Trek, at which point I was done with princesses and moved right into action figures. You can’t dress them up, but they move a lot more and phasers are way cooler than purses. And every last action figure was in the boys’ aisles of the toy stores.

Orenstein never quite comes to a definitive conclusion about what she thinks about Princess Culture. She clearly did a lot of research into a very complicated subject, but that complicated subject by its nature has no simple answer. Nothing but pink and princesses and stereotypically feminine and the drive to be blonde/blue-eyed/thin/pretty/nice/pretty/thin/perfect/pretty/thin is definitely bad for girls and the boys who have to interact with them, but is a little bit of princess okay? How much? Does the drive to get girls to like STEM subjects and playing with Lego and toy cars mean that we’re just stigmatizing those girls and later woman who do like cooking and cleaning and dollys and raising children? And what does that mean for boys who like traditionally feminine pastimes and toys?

Orenstein’s research included trips to Disneyland, the international Toy Fair in New York, American Girl Place, Pottery Barn Kids, and a child beauty pageant. She interviewed the man who came up with the idea to market the Disney Princesses together, the director of an eating disorder clinic, parents of pageant kids, and the parents of her daughter’s friends.She did research on media and marketing to children, the history of children’s toys and the gendering of those toys, child psychology and development, the origins of fairy tales, current toys for boys and girls, and what and how kids actually play. She talks a lot about how all of this research impacted how she was raising her daughter, some of her parenting decisions and what went into her thought process, discussing toys and stories with her daughter and trying to understand why she liked or didn’t like them. It’s not really intended to be a scholarly work–it’s an exploration of what princess culture means to her and for her family, and to what extent she wants to let her daughter participate and how she plans to subvert it and teach her daughter to think critically about consuming media.

This book really hit home for me in several ways. I have a little niece who’s just over a year old. Her mother loves everything pink and refuses to dress her in blue or even much green and yellow, because she thinks that adults will be confused and think that Niece is a boy if she’s wearing blue. Why the opinions of total strangers matter, I have no idea. So on one hand, FeministMe who took the women’s studies classes really wishes that Mother would lighten up a little, because green and yellow and blue and purple and red and black are all nice colours. On the other hand, AuntieMe sees all the pretty frilly dresses in the stores, and I only have so long to dress her up like a little doll before she learns to say no. Though incidentally, Niece doesn’t really like dolls–she keeps pushing them aside for her books and her car and her piano. (go niece go!)

To compound this, I worked in a children’s clothing store. The clothing was extremely gendered–all of the boys’ clothes were blue and red and sports and monsters, and all of the girls’ clothes were pink and glitter and princess and butterfly and shopping and hearts. There was very little gender-neutral stuff for infants (which is a problem for people when they need a gift and the parents have chosen not to find out the gender before the baby is born), and there was absolutely no gender neutral stuff for over the age of 18 months. Very rarely there would be an older girls’ shirt that mentioned sports or reading or math, but the majority were I’m Daddy’s Little Princess, I’m Mommy’s Favourite Shopping Buddy, I’m Cute, Sweet, and Pretty, etc. The boys’  shirts were just as bad, since there were no reading or cooking or shopping shirts, just skateboarding and basketball and ugly monsters and silly faces. But as someone working in the store, you have to play up the “oh look at how cute this is, I love it!” for the merchandise.

I liked this book. I don’t think it changed my mind on any important issues, but it did try to explore them in a thoughtful way, while still admitting to the writer’s bias–after all, the reason she did any of the research and writing was because she was against raising her daughter to be a princess. I guess the question that every parent, and adult who significantly interacts with a girl, has to ask themself is is their girl a princess and what does being a princess mean?

*BTW, Orenstein has a page on her website that lists modern princess books, movies and toys for different ages that teach girls about princesses with gumption, drive, and smarts. And I’d add to the list for YA Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles, featuring Princess Cimorene who goes out looking for adventure because being a princess is boring; just about anything by Tamora Pierce, especially the Tortall series about a girl who wants to be a knight (ignoring how disappointed I was by Battle Magic because usually she’s really very good); and I’m really enjoying Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series (I’ve already reviewed Cinder and Scarlet and Cress is coming up on my to-read list).

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Of course, girls are not buying the 24/7 princess culture all on their own. So the question is not only why they like it (which is fairly obvious) but what it offers their parents. Julie may have been onto something on that front: princesses are, by definition, special, elevated creatures. And don’t we all feel our girls are extraordinary, unique, and beautiful? Don’t we want them to share that belief for as long as possible, to think that—just by their existence, by birthright—they are the chosen ones? Wouldn’t we like their lives to be forever charmed, infused with magic and sparkle? I know I want that for my daughter.

Or do I? Among other things, princesses tend to be rather isolated in their singularity. Navigating the new world of friendships is what preschool is all about, yet the DPs, you will recall, won’t even look at one another. Daisy had only one fight with her best friend during their three years of preschool—a conflict so devastating that, at pickup time, I found the other girl sobbing in the hallway, barely able to breathe. The source of their disagreement? My darling daughter had insisted that there could be only one Cinderella in their games—only one girl who reigned supreme—and it was she. Several hours and a small tantrum later, she apologized to the girl, saying that from now on there could be two Cinderellas. But the truth was, Daisy had gotten it right the first time: there is only one princess in the Disney tales, one girl who gets to be exalted. Princesses may confide in a sympathetic mouse or teacup, but, at least among the best-known stories, they do not have girlfriends. God forbid Snow White should give Sleeping Beauty a little support.

Let’s review: princesses avoid female bonding. Their goals are to be saved by a prince, get married (among the DP picture books at Barnes & Noble: My Perfect Wedding and Happily Ever After Stories) and be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Their value derives largely from their appearance. They are rabid materialists. They might affect your daughter’s interest in math. And yet… parents cannot resist them. Princesses seem to have tapped into our unspoken, nonrational wishes. They may also assuage our fears: Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty may be sources of comfort, of stability in a rapidly changing world. Our daughters will shortly be tweeting and Facebooking and doing things that have yet to be invented, things that are beyond our ken. Princesses are uncomplicated, classic, something solid that we can understand and share with them, even if they are a bit problematic. They provide a way to play with our girls that is similar to how we played, a common language of childhood fun. That certainly fits into what Disney found in a survey of preschool girls’ mothers: rather than “beautiful,” the women more strongly associate princesses with “creating fantasy,” “inspiring,” “compassionate.”

And “safe.” That one piqued my interest. By “safe,” I would wager that they mean that being a Princess fends off premature sexualization, or what parents often refer to as the pressure “to grow up too soon.” There is that undeniable sweetness, that poignancy of seeing girls clomp off to the “ball” in their incongruous heels and gowns. They are so gleeful, so guileless, so delightfully delighted. The historian Gary Cross, who writes extensively on childhood and consumption, calls such parental response “wondrous innocence.” Children’s wide-eyed excitement over the products we buy them pierces through our own boredom as consumers and as adults, reconnecting us to our childhoods: it makes us feel again. The problem is that our very dependence on our children’s joy erodes it: over time, they become as jaded as we are by new purchases—perhaps more so. They rebel against the “cuteness” in which we’ve indulged them—and, if we’re honest, imposed upon them—by taking on the studied irony and indifferent affect of “cool.”

Though both boys and girls engage in that cute-to-cool trajectory, for girls specifically, being “cool” means looking hot. Given that, then, there may indeed be, or at least could be, a link between princess diadems and Lindsay Lohan’s panties (or lack thereof ). But in the short term, when you’re watching your preschooler earnestly waving her wand, it sure doesn’t feel that way. To the contrary: princess play feels like proof of our daughters’ innocence, protection against the sexualization it may actually be courting. It reassures us that, despite the pressure to be precocious, little girls are still—and ever will be—little girls. And that knowledge restores our faith not only in wonder but, quite possibly, in goodness itself. Recall that the current princess craze took off right around the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and continued its rise through the recession: maybe, as another cultural historian suggested to me, the desire to encourage our girls’ imperial fantasies is, at least in part, a reaction to a newly unstable world. We need their innocence not only for consumerist but for spiritual redemption.

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Today I Read…Standing Up

Standing UpToday I read Standing Up: A Memoir of a Funny (Not Always) Life by Marion Grodin.

So…Addiction. Broken marriage. Cancer. The ABCs of comedy, amirite? Can I get a laugh track here?

Well, maybe not.

Marion Grodin tells the uncensored story of her life, from her relationship with her actor father Charles Grodin to her mother’s overabundance of pets, her long-running personal war with drug addiction, from falling in love to broken hearts, from writing for sitcoms to battling breast cancer, from stumbling around her life to finding the thing she was meant to do for the rest of it.

Living life? You’ve gotta do it. But finding the funny side, now that’s hard.

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So, disclaimer, I was asked by the publisher to review this book. (Little bit of squee here- squee! Ok, done.) I don’t really follow stand-up comedy, so I wasn’t familiar with Marion Grodin or her work before reading her autobiography. Based on the title and the cover, and the fact that the book jacket immediately describes her as “Comedian Marion Grodin” I was expecting a funnier book than I got. It opens with her doing her routine at a Kennedy gala, and the first chapter ends with treatment for breast cancer and her husband leaving her. Hell of a punchline.

I have to compliment her on her honesty- she never shrinks away from anything she’s done or thought of felt, good or bad. There’s a lot of pain in this book- it makes you wonder if writing it was as much therapy as autobiography. But there’s also a lot of strength, for surviving and not breaking.  In the end, you have to admire her courage for standing up and surviving everything life has thrown at her- now if only she could kick her final addiction to Haagen-Dazs…

Today I Read…Sherlock: The Casebook

Sherlock CasebookToday I read Sherlock: The Casebook by Guy Adams. This is a guide to the first two series of the BBC show Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

My name is Dr. John Watson, and recently I have had the privilege of working with a truly remarkable man, with the most dizzying, gifted mind that I have ever come across. This is an attempt to put my notes together and help ordinary people (like myself, for one) to understand the genius of the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes and what he has termed ‘the science of deduction.’ The first time I met Sherlock…no one cares John, this is boring. The case is what matters, not you nattering on about trifles like how we met. We both needed a flatmate, you weren’t completely stupid and occasionally somewhat useful, we started solving cases together. Also, can you hand me my phone?…Sherlock, I’m trying to write here. And your phone is, as usual, in your jacket pocket. The jacket you are wearing right now. And yes, people do care about the background, it’s interesting and it helps people understand why I haven’t strangled you in your sleep yet. Although Greg mentioned last week that the neighbours have just about stopped calling to complain about the noise whenever you get bored and shoot the walls, so if I happen to accidentally shoot you for being an impossible git I’d probably have plenty of time to get away…Greg? Who is Greg? And you’re much cleverer than those bumblers in the police, like Anderson, you could probably shoot me in front of the Eye with a dozen Japanese tourists taking photographs and he wouldn’t figure it out… Greg *Lestrade*, Sherlock, we’ve discussed this before, you really could make a slight effort to remember his first name, he’s a good friend and it’s not like it’s a hard name, and I’m still trying to write so would you please go away and get those eyeballs out of the fridge? You’ve finished with your experiment and I don’t like having them in the same fridge as the milk for the tea. Though we’re out of milk, seeing as when I asked you to bring some home last night you brought sixteen varieties of pesticides instead…I needed those for an experiment John, I wanted to see what trace amounts would look like dried under the fingernails…yes, and the severed fingers can be cleaned out too if you’re done. And don’t put them in the trash, it disturbs the garbagemen, put them in the biohazard bags I brought home and we’ll take them along back to St. Bart’s the next time we go…but John, I think one of the garbagemen might be a murderer, he does look so pleased whenever he comes across the organs in the trash. He may have a fetish…No, Sherlock, he’s a fan. He reads my blog, he comments as TrashIsTreasureAndIKnowWhatsInYours. He likes going through our trash because he thinks it gives him special insight into our cases, though I think you may be right about the fetish bit…oh course I’m right, I’m always right, or at least hardly ever wrong, and I’m still waiting for you to get my phone John…I’m taking back all the nice things I was writing about you Sherlock…no you’re not.

This entertaining book is half casebook with commentary, and half guide to the television show Sherlock, a 21st century reimagining of the great detective Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion Dr. John Watson. John’s notes include his and Sherlock’s observations, news articles about their cases, photos, and lays out the case piece by piece, encouraging the reader to follow along as Sherlock observes and deduces the clues. Sherlock, always incapable of minding his tongue, makes his pointed comments about John’s ‘scrapbook’ via yellow sticky notes between the pages, while John is forced to defend his work via retaliatory green sticky notes. In between each of the six cases, representing the so-far six episodes of the show, are in-depth interviews with the cast, crew, and creators, articles about the episodes, and analyses of the connection between the original Conan Doyle stories and the modern BBC version, and all of the versions in between. This book is a great read for any fan of the consulting detective and the loyal doctor.

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I’ve mentioned before my love of snark and pop culture guides like this and this. I love Sherlock–they’ve done such a wonderful job of thinking about what he would be like in the 21st century, and what the modern equivalents are of the tools he used in the Doyle stories, eg. homeless people for street urchins, taxis for horse-drawn cabs, nicotine patches since smoking isn’t socially acceptable anymore. Sherlock has drawn intense devotion among its fanbase, since there have only been 6 episodes produced over the last three years (although series 3 is set to FINALLY begin airing in January).

The scrapbook part of the book is interesting, informative, and entertaining. In the episodes, they have to keep the story moving. Though John’s notes and the messages between Sherlock and John, the reader can see both their thought processes a little more and their relationship, which has always been a huge part of the Holmes mythos. You simply can’t have a Sherlock Holmes without a John Watson. He’s only part of a person like that. Of course, the contrary is true as well– a Watson without a Holmes is lost and directionless, and Sherlock does an excellent job of showing this to the audience. (You can find the essay I wrote on John Watson, “My Dear Watson is Elementary: The Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” in my ebook I’m Not Watching TV, I’m Doing Homework!: Essays on Science Fiction here.)

As for the nonfiction side, it is equally as well done. Since this is an official tie-in published by BBC Books, Guy Adams was able to get access to the people who know Sherlock best–the ones who make it. He retells their stories and insights with wit and a genuine interest so it is never a dry interview with people about their jobs. He also did his homework with regards to Doyle, the original Holmes stories, and the various screen versions that have popped up over the years, while still staying focused on Sherlock. It comes across as an acknowledgement of the inspiration and what has gone before without becoming about the other versions.

Like most television guides, this will mainly appeal to fans of the show, the devoted ones who want to know all of the details of how the show is made, the in-jokes that the crew put in to amuse themselves, and the thought processes of the men and women who bring these beloved characters and their world to life. The other side is that these guides quickly become outdated as new episodes air (not that rapidly for Sherlock of course, since the book was published in 2012 and we won’t get the new episodes until 2014, instead of the more usual new season and new content per year). I’m sure that another book will be produced soon, possibly next year, to include the new cases. But even when we get the new episodes, this will remain a wonderful addition to the world of Sherlock.

Today I Read…Shockaholic

Today I read Shockaholic, the second autobiography by Carrie Fisher, and sequel to the bestselling Wishful Drinking.Shockaholic

Carrie Fisher has perfected the art of skewering herself, with one exception: she just can’t stick the apple in her mouth, mostly because it would keep her from talking about herself and her crazy life. Said crazy life over the last few years includes losing her beloved father and former stepmother, Eddie Fisher and the legendary Elizabeth Taylor; writing and starring in her Emmy- and Tony-nominated one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, based on her first bestselling autobiography; and of course her growing addiction to Electro-Convulsive Shock Therapy, and it’s related memory problems. Shockaholic is Fisher’s way of dealing with her memory problems, by writing down her life–fortunately (or unfortunately, if you don’t like the book) she’s decided to share the products with the world. So sit back, have a drink (coffee, she’s also trying to stay sober), and listen to a tale of not that long ago, from a Hollywoodland far, far away…
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I first read Wishful Drinking because Mom got us tickets to her show in Toronto a few years ago, and you can never let a book be spoiled. It was hilarious and I loved it, both the book and the show. I ran afterwards to the back door of the theater, and I managed to get the only autograph, since I guess she ran right out too.

Carrie Fisher is brutally, unrelentingly honest about her life and the mistakes that she’s made, but she never appears sorry for the drugs, career decisions, the invasion of her family’s privacy and mockery of her friends, the foul language, the devoted self-interest–on the contrary, she revels in it, since all of it comes together to create Carrie Fisher, a legend before her time who has spent the years since being Princess Leia finding out who she is underneath the silly white robe with no underwear. This isn’t so much a book as it is an experience, with a unique, oddly charming, and above all powerful voice. I’m still not sure I know who the real Carrie Fisher is, and she probably doesn’t either with all of the ECT she’s undergone, but whoever she is, she has balls bigger than Leia’s buns.

Today I Read…The Brilliant Book 2012

Brilliant Book 2012Today I read Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book 2012, edited by Clayton Hickman.

Anything you want to know about Doctor Who series six? Anything at all? You, in the back–no, not you, you in the cool bow-tie–the time? Why it’s 5:02 of course. It’s always 5:02. And Richard Nixon would very much like it if you dropped by and did something about that impossible astronaut who’s been calling him. And would someone please take Hitler out of that cupboard, or at least get him to stop banging on the walls?

This official guide to the 2012 season of the hit show Doctor Who contains descriptions and fun facts for all 13 episodes and the Christmas special A Christmas Carol, in addition to interviews with actors and behind-the-scenes people, articles on making monsters and the Doctor’s various hats, Mels’ school reports and the Doctor waving at the Ponds through time, as well as Cleopatra’s Facebook page, fun facts about the Corsair, and the Doctor’s story of the Moon. A must-have for any devoted fan of the madman with the blue box.

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I like to collect guides to my favourite shows–sometimes they’ve got some fascinating extras and details about episodes, as well as interviews with the people behind the magic. The Brilliant Book 2012 is a good example of a guide, containing both the factual behind-the-scenes information and the whimsical extras such as the rewritten version of Humpty Dumpty where the Doctor reveals that Humpty is actually Strax the Sontaran, or the Teselecta User Guide. This book won’t appeal much to the casual fan, but to the one who likes to know absolutely everything about their beloved show, this book is a valuable and entertaining resource. The layout and pictures are lovely, and the extras are well thought-out and designed. They enhance the DW universe nicely and fill it with in-jokes and minor details that the truly obsessed fan will devour.

 

Today I Read…Eats, Shites & Leaves

Eats Shites & LeavesToday I read Eats, Shites & Leaves: Crap English and How To Use It by A. Parody.

Anyone who knows English knows that they know nothing at all, since English goes out of its way and back again to be as contrary as possible. Eats, Shites & Leaves points out exactly why nobody likes you English, you bloody annoying wanker.

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Every English major will find this book hilarious. I once saw a shirt that said “English does not borrow from other languages. English waits in dark alleys and knocks other languages over the head and goes through their pockets looking for loose grammar.” Eats, Shites & Leaves is basically a collection of lists: poor grammar, strange quotes, odd words, uncommon euphemisms, illogical phrases, rare words, classic clichés, rude slang, and many more things that show the sheer insanity and inanity that we call the English language.

Funny as it is, it does get a bit boring just reading list after list, so I would read this book in chunks rather than straight through–as with any joke, timing is everything.

Today I Read…Supernatural

Today I read TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural, edited by Stacey Abbott and David Lavery.

TV Goes to Hell is a collection of pop culture essays about the television horror show Supernatural, starring Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki as Dean and Sam Winchester, brothers who travel around the United States fighting monsters and demons. Essay subjects include such topics as comedy strategies, music and character development, motel rooms as liminal zones, social class, connection to the 1970s, gender representations, narratives, metafiction, religion, fans and fandom, inspiration, and the history of the show on the networks.

I’m a pop culture junkie, especially science fiction pop culture and fandom, so I love essay books like this. I’d have done my masters in pop culture studies instead of library science if I could have figured out a job to use it for…Well, maybe one day just for fun, when I’m old and retired (which will be never, at this rate). I really enjoy active participation in fandom as opposed to just passively and individually watching the shows (though if that floats your boat, whatever). This kind of academic study is really broadening to me. Due to the nature of Western post-secondary education, it tends to be quite difficult to take a wide variety of classes and subjects–the ideal is to take only degree & subject-specific courses and to get out of school as soon as possible, as opposed to actually learning something interesting. I’ve only taken one film studies course, but this and other television show essay books have taught me a great deal about film studies and history and concepts. It’s easy to say “I love this show!”, but these kinds of essay books help to articulate why I love this show, and to help me think about things about the show that I never noticed on my own. For example, the essay about Supernatural‘s connection to the 1970s is interesting because I missed the 70s, on account of not being born yet, so it explains references that I didn’t catch from lack of familiarity.

This book will appeal to academic nerds and pop culture and fandom studies junkies, but likely not to the casual viewer of the show.

Reader Profile

Reader Profile

This was an assignment to keep track of the books we read for 3 months, and then to analyze our reading habits and write our reactions to some of the books. I ended up reading 48 books in 3 months (not counting fanfic, journal articles, newspapers, magazines, graphic novels, etc–books only), which is a little low compared to how much I used to read, but in my defense school really gets in the way.

Developing a new library collection

Collection Development plan: Winter Sports

This is a fictional new collection I developed on the subject of Winter Sports (yes, the topics were assigned). My given budget was $1200 CDN, and it was supposed to be for a public library. We had to describe the library and the community, and plan a brand new subject-specific collection for their needs, choosing suitable and available items, sticking to the given budget, selecting the various desired media, planning for future weeding, developing the collections policy, etc.

I never thought it would be so hard to spend money on books!

Plan for Library Program

Make Your Own Pet Monster!

Corrina McGill

 Make Your Own Pet Monster is a craft program intended for children ages 9-12. Participants will use fabric scraps and buttons/beads/etc. to design and sew their own stuffed toys, which they will then be able to take home. Materials will be partially donated—local craft stores and chain craft stores such as Fabricland and Michael’s will be approached about donating fabric scraps that they are unable to sell, as well as promoting the program within their stores through use of flyers.

The goal of this program is to promote the library as a community center and encourage children in developing creativity, a love of the arts, and the practical life skill of sewing, as well as promoting the library’s collection of resources on the subject of handicrafts. The objective of the program is to hold a single three hour session during which children will design and create their own stuffed toy which they can then take home. The program will also promote recycling and repurposing of materials by using fabric scraps and other found materials. This program may help to fill in the gap left by the defunding of arts programs in schools that has been going on recently.

            This program is aimed at children aged 9-12, since they should be capable of the manual dexterity required for sewing. Since the crafting session should last at least three hours in order for there to be enough time to teach basic stitches and to design and craft the toy, it is recommended that the program be held on a weekend or else during the summer or other holiday from school. Since materials are required, registration is recommended so that there will be enough materials for everyone. However, the program should be free to all participants.

            The timeline for planning should be approximately one month. This will allow for time to approach potential businesses for sponsorship and community partners for volunteers. Local sewing groups may be an excellent source of expertise to teach the children. In addition, this could be an opportunity for a student with sewing experience to gain some volunteer hours for high school. This time will also allow for promotion of the program.

Materials:

  • Basic sewing materials: needles, sewing thread, embroidery thread, fabric scissors, stuffing, paper, pens, fabric glue, glue gun, etc.
  • Anything that can be found or donated: fabric scraps, loose buttons and beads, old worn-out clothing, bits of broken jewelry or toys, anything that could be used to decorate the toys
  • Space: a room with tables and chairs
  • Display: books and other collection resources about crafts—sewing in particular, but there is no reason to limit the subjects to sewing alone. The point is to be creative!