Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Fastest Glue Gun In The....

Here's a little gal after my own heart.  A home with bins, drawers and cubbies filled with fabrics, ribbons, lace, thread, florist's tape and wire, papers of every color and texture, embellishments, tags, metal do-dads, stamps and pads, paper punches, paint and brushes, needles, pins, markers, colored pencils, glitter, glue sticks, glue bottles, and glue guns galore and scissors of every size and design, gives me a pretty good idea on the true soul of a crafter.  Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio with illustrations by Heather Ross (Simon & Schuster) is a joyful celebration of ingenuity.

The story opens with Chloe, clad in blue pajamas covered with clouds, kneeling on the floor busily stringing macaroni for necklaces; a pad propped against the wall with sketches of her finished pieces.  She is not good at sports, or video games...

And when she took dance lessons, she had the grace of a camel in roller skates.

When it comes to making anything and everything, she is the Queen; even if her puzzled Dad's shirts seem to be missing patches of fabric, her blurry-eyed Mom is missing coffee filters and her sleeping brother is covered in googly eyes.  Not to be forgotten is her very good eye for fashion, clothing her dog, Bert, in the very latest trends. 

When her best friend is in need of a birthday present nothing seems to catch Chloe's eye until the very thing she knows Emma will love is purchased by another.  Chloe declares she will make her a special something, a very PURPLE something.  But Chloe is stumped and falls in a slump faking blue-spotted Chicken Pops until her Mom reminds her of the pony rides she will be missing at the party.

Her creative juices rejuvenated Chloe doodles, working late into the night on her newest project falling asleep, arms wrapped around her faithful Bert.  On the way to the party accidents, as "they" say, do happen.  Mockery turns into gratitude.  Chloe's creations, along with her spirited, forgiving nature, save the day; loved by all.

Kelly DiPucchio's narrative could not express the mind and heart of a young creator better than she does for Chloe; it makes me wonder if she was a "Crafty Chloe" in her younger years.  Knowing what to say when, is a gift Kelly DePucchio uses with polish and flair.  The dialogue between Chloe and London is oh, so true.  The humor kind of sneaks up on you; making you feel lucky that you don't have a beverage in your mouth because it might end up coming out of your nose.

Heather Ross,  designer of magical, whimsical patterns appearing on fabric and in one-of-a -kind prints, author of Weekend Sewing, brings to this book illustrations popping right off the page as does Chloe's personality.  Who can resist the jubilantly extended arms of a gleefully grinning Chloe on the cover, among foil strung stars and her name pieced together with a disgusted Bert sitting on the sidelines surrounded by an array of artistic bits and pieces?  Front endpapers patterned with orange-handled scissors and back endpapers covered in macaroni necklaces and bracelets, beckons to the creative nature in all of us, no matter how big or small. 

The first two page spread with the most white space used in any part of the book highlights the Chloe initially described above with the only text being:  This is Chloe.  I like this; an introduction to a delightful character with no distractions.  Ross's remaining pictures, done in pencil and colored digitally,  might be a single full page or several smaller visuals on one page.  Her mix of pastels with bright colors flows with the storyline seamlessly.  She, as did DiPucchio, plants humor when you least expect it, a wide-eyed Chloe zoned out trying video games, her Mom multi-tasking sticking the thermometer in her eye, or Bert's comical expressions. 

I can think of a host of readers that are going to enjoy this title; already wondering if I should order several more copies.  Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio with illustrations by Heather Ross is utterly charming; a salutation to the imaginative spirit of a very special little girl.

Stitched to the closing endpapers is an invitation to the Crafty Chloe website.  Heather Ross appeared on the Martha Stewart Show this past February.  Follow this link for the making of a Clementine Crate Doll Bed inspired by this title.


  1. What an awesome review! Thank you!

    1. You are welcome. I am hoping that this is not the last time we will be seeing Chloe.