This book is packed full of helpful tips and creative ideas for your child to plan her next (or first!) big bash. It starts with a short 3-question quiz to figure out what type of hostess you might be... Garden Party, Movie Night, Glamping Gal, or Dancy Party girl. Readers can find a planning checklist to help the hostess get everything ready on time, a list of "no fail food", and hostess hints on how to help guest feel welcome and comfortable.
After providing general party tips, the book gives details about themed and holiday party ideas. The magazine-style layout is visually appealing and easy to read. Each party theme is sectioned into small decorative islands of information in the following format:
- A one page overview of the party theme/holiday, including location ideas, invitations, color scheme, and decoration style.
- A craft or two that fits the theme along with clear and simple directions and a photograph of the craft. Some crafts include helpful tips, including websites where you can buy the materials.
- A menu with snapshots of the food. (All recipes are collected at the back of the book for easy access.)
- Numerous colorful photographs of girls from a variety of ethnic backgrounds modeling completed crafts or simple sharing a smile. Most of the models in the book wore dresses. (The book itself often encouraged the girls to wear dresses to their parties.)
What I Like: This book is well put together. It’s easy to use, the craft and food ideas are outstanding (I want to make my own lip-balm, party or not!) and the photographs to an outstanding job of highlighting the finished product. Suggestions on how to reach out to guests also pleasantly surprised me. In today’s technology influenced world, the art of conversation can sometimes be overlooked, so I appreciated that aspect. I think young teens and preteens who love planning parties will simply adore this book.
What I Dislike: There is nothing major I dislike, just a few minor notes that may pertain to some readers. First, the editors use some slang (like “fave” instead of “favorite”) in the text. To me, slang feels dated and patronizing. I think the book would be stronger without it. Another note is that the book has a very feminine feel to it. Since I raised a tomboy, the cover and many of the photographs probably wouldn’t appeal to her. She would still enjoy the party ideas… but she’d probably take a more casual approach. And finally, although it is wonderful to have all these great ideas in a book at your fingertips (with top-rate photographs to help the reader visualize final products), you could likewise easily find ideas and many more just like this on the internet.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 8-12
Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2014; ISBN:9780310746003; Paperback, 128 pgs., $12.99
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Special Info: Party planning girls might enjoy having another book in the Faithgirlz series on hand: Big Book of Quizzes: Fun, Quirky Questions for You and Your Friends (Faithgirlz).