Last weekend, as I sat and ate my lunch in Bryant Park, I had the unexpected treat of listening to Geoffrey Hayes read from his children’s comic book Benny and Penny in Just Pretend. The day’s readings and activities were linked to Children’s Book Week, which runs all this week. And I left the park thinking about children’s books that I loved when I was little—books that encouraged me to make, create, and play.
One of the books that I spent hours and hours with as a youngster was Steven Caney’s Play Book, which I have become reacquainted with thanks to the copy at the Children’s Center at 42nd Street. This book is one of several creative play books by Caney, a noted toy maker and designer. His projects all encourage hands-on building, pretending, playing, and inventing, and most draw upon everday materials that a family might already have on hand. Paging through it, I remembered the fun and discovery I felt as I tackled many of the projects—from secret codes to musical nails, from salt gardens to bottle gardens.
Do you have a favorite DIY book from when you were small? Perhaps we have it at NYPL—come into the library or look in our catalog and see what books, both new and old, we have waiting for you and the young makers in your life.