Crafty Cat is the alter ego of a young girl named Birdie. When put in moments of extreme stress and frustration, she turns to her super-self to craft her way out of any situation. In this most recent installation of the series, Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis, Birdie is headed to Craft Camp with her best friend. While he isn’t exactly sold on crafts, he’s happy to go provided they get to play imagination games later. Arriving at school, Birdie discovers that her bad attitude nemesis, a young girl named Anya, is also in attendance. Rather than follow rules and participate fully, Anya feels the need to rush through activities so that she can be first at everything. When the group takes a break from crafts for dodgeball, Anya is put on the same team as Birdie’s best friend. She quickly learns about how the competitive spirit can change people. Birdie must confront her own insecurities and seek out the help of her Crafty Cat self to work her way out of the situation.
Author and artist Charise Mericle Harper has continued her Crafty Cat series with what I feel is a stronger book than her first. The cheerful attitude and creative spirit is there, but she also is able to teach kids about the struggles of insecurities and show them that just because someone is picked for another team doesn’t mean they stop being your friend. Even better, every craft featured in the book has instructions in the back. That means that when your child suddenly decides that they want a cool monster hat like Birdie has, you can make one with your kids.
Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis is available August 15, 2017 from First Second Press.
The first book, The Amazing Crafty Cat, is also available from First Second Press.