Lain's Reviews > The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections

The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule
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's review
Apr 04, 2008

it was ok

I wanted to love this book, I really did. But I didn't. In fact, it made me want to grab a big bag of partially hydrogenated Cheetos and an aspartame-laced Diet Coke and revive myself.

The writing is fine, the projects included are fine (though I would have liked to see more). And the photography is okay (in my opinion, I prefer more professional shots rather than the do-it-yourself ones that were included).

While I appreciate and applaud Soule's ideas and perspective, what bothered me was the pervasive feeling that it's either THIS or THAT - there is no middle ground. There's no room for a Silicon Valley mom who occasionally feeds her kids Pop-Tarts and votes Republican but also has gone TV-free for three years and eschews our ready-made culture.

What I love about personal perspective books, even those of the advice or how-to type, is the foibles and mis-steps the author shares. It makes him or her seem more human and more approachable, and thus more inspiring. Think of Martha Stewart -- her books are gorgeous eye candy, but her level of perfectionism is unachievable for most of us. As a result, she turns off some readers with her "I'm so perfect" veneer. Contrast that with the Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo, who peppers her books with her tales of woe and crafts-gone-wrong. I'd much prefer to read a book by someone who knows what they're doing, but who made mistakes along the way and isn't afraid to share that.

Creativity is a mindset that ANYONE can achieve, even if they buy Elmer's Glue instead of brewing their own from the recipe in the book, or purchase mass-produced Crayola crayons for their kids. I would have liked to see more solutions that a tapped-out mom of three could include in her kids' lives, ones that don't require creating dye from berries and spending a bundle on "the good" art supplies

I think that those of a similar mindset to Soule will adore this book because it speaks to them where they're at, and they can relate. But this crafty WAH soccer mom felt left by the wayside.
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10/14/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Kristen I just got this book and I look forward to reading it, but I agree it seems to be very Waldorfian we don't do that type of a book. Which I think is too bad. I love the basic Waldorf type principles of child based learning and the emphasis on craft with children, I don't need another book to show how inadequate I am as a full time working mom/family breadwinner. Like I said, the projects look fun. Nothing new, but fun, I just hope the text is not what it appears to be from your review.

Thanks for your review...

Lain I hated to write a negative review because I feel so strongly about the general principles she supports... but inadequate is a good word!
Let me know what you think when you're finished.

message 3: by Sheri (new)

Sheri I read her blog and while I haven't read her book it sounds like your review is exactly how I would sum it up too. Thanks for the review.

message 4: by Liz (new)

Liz Thanks for the review. In this stage of life, I cannot handle these types of books! I'll pass on this and find something in the middle ground :)

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