Wednesday, 27 February 2019

"Forest Craft: A Child's Guide to Whittling in the Woodland" by Richard Irvine (GMC Publications)

Whittling. You may be forgiven for thinking this is the sort of thing you might see a septuagenerian widdling away at on an episode of "Countryfile" but Richard Irvine aims to change that perception with a fantastic book for taking with you on your next woodland journey.

"Forest Craft: A Child's Guide to Whittling in the Woodland" is an absolutely fantastic craft book with a ton of amazing projects and makes - but more importantly, some really excellent lessons on how to do everything safely and responsibly. After all, you can't just wander into the nearest clump of trees with a bowie knife and start hacking away!

"Forest Craft" comes from that utterly absorbing line of thinking that all of us can take time out, get out into the countryside, get some fresh air and unleash our creativity in a really cool way.

With the book's emphasis on safety and adult supervision, Richard takes us through a series of amazing projects and makes such as a kazoo, mini furniture, duck call, whimmy diddle (!), rhythm sticks and the 'biggest gun' in the Harry Potter universe, an elder wand!

Each of the 20 projects comes with simple step-by-step instructions accompanied by photographs and useful tips. 

Also dotted throughout are interesting nuggets of information about woodland folklore, which add to the book's appeal. There are also plenty of inspirational photographs, showing how much fun it is to get out into the woodland with friends and family (something we try to do every single weekend if we can) and share in this relaxing, rewarding pastime. 

The book would also be a boon to forest school teachers looking for some interesting things to do in their sessions. 

It'd be awesome to think that a book like this could help keep the skill of whittling alive for generations to come. All these skills are dying out in the modern world's obsession with all things electronic, but this shows there's a lot more fun to be had out in the woods if you just take the time. 

Sum this book up in a sentence: A really fantastic 'manual' for would-be woodland crafters and whittlers with 20 simple but absorbing projects to keep kids interested and engaged. 

"Forest Craft" by Richard Irvine is out now, published by GMC Publications (kindly supplied for review).