Growing Up Me: A Review
By Teri-Lynn Masters
Apr 30, 2005, 17:11
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Growing Up Me
A Guide to Scrapbooking Childhood Stories
By Angie Pedersen
The book Growing Up Me by Angie Pedersen is a treasure to be cherished! Well written, nicely laid out, and filled with wonderful, fun layouts, it makes reading and Scrapbooking an easy experience filled with not only self-discovery, but also with the tools for building and making deeper the relationships we have with our children and the children around us!
To begin, it must be noted that this book contains layouts BY children, and is designed to help the CHILD scrapbook. Although we, as adults, can gain an enormous amount of insight and advice for scrapping our own childhood or helping a child scrapbook their childhood, this book and the layouts it contains are aimed at the young scrapper, and the layouts are by young scrappers. Don’t expect to be blown away by complicated techniques and all of the hottest trends and products. They are not the focus of this book. What is the focus is some sweet, childish, heartfelt journaling and storytelling by children, and insight into their worlds. What is important to them, and how they see things, is laid out so nicely in this book, and in a way that young scrappers can relate to.
I decided after reading this book, the best way to actually get the most out of the experience was to go through some of the areas with my 7 year old daughter, a budding scrapper. Her ideas, impressions, and reactions tell me a lot about the book.
A flip through the book shows many many layouts made with bright colours and cheerful themes. Pages I would expect my own daughter to make, and pages I would always follow with the statement “No I did not make this page, my little girl did!”
The table of contents is eye catching and has some adorable accents, laying out the book in easy to follow steps.
The Welcome section is a very important key to understanding the purpose of the book and the best ways to use it. The author explains how this book came about, explaining all of it’s focus. The author was helping her child scrapbook his stories, and was so inspired by his ideas and independence, Growing Up Me was born. The purpose and Intent of the book are clearly laid out; “In this book, I’ll guide you in working with children to create a scrapbook about themselves. This book is for parents, children, teachers, scout leaders, social workers, Sunday School Teachers, foster care workers, and counselors.” The welcome stresses the importance of encouraging the young scrapper and guiding them. The key is spending time together.
The best way to use the book is also clearly shown. Hints for use, as well as some “ways to approach the ideas” are listed.
The Chapters to the book are divided into easy-to-separate categories. From “My Beginnings” to “My School”, “My Character” to “My Spiritual Life”, the topics cover a wide range of a child’s life, and delve into areas many may not have given a lot of thought to, but had developed regardless. What child thinks about his or her character?? If you ask them to, help them investigate it, they will give it thought and make it tangible on paper, they will come to understand character and how it has been formed, and possibly even give it more thought in the future.
A small introduction to each Chapter theme is followed by lists of “Prompts to trigger Journaling”, “Photos to Find or Request”, and “Pictures to Take”. These sections are keys to putting together these meaningful pages with the most in depth journaling and important memories. As the scrapbooker, they help to jog memories and give the journaler hints and prompts to write the things they may want to remember. As the guide to young scrapbookers, these “directions” are most important for helping us guide the scrapbooker in their journaling and may help remind of things we would not think of.
Helpful hints and quotes are found in the page margins, and colourful scrapbook pages by children of all ages illustrate the topics.
When first sitting down with my daughter with the intention of scrapping pages with her using the book for tips, we had already decided to scrap some photos of her when she was a baby. She chose some background paper and some accent paper, and asked for “some of that paper you can kinda see through”. While I am laughing over this, she sets her paper down and says “An empty piece of paper! It all starts here!!” with a great flourish of her hands! As I pick myself up off the floor I am reminded how much fun she is! I settle in for a long session.
We read the first section together, and when I see I have lost her attention, she starts decorating the background paper with stamps and ink while I work on cards and tell her about the photos, keeping in mind what I had just read in the book. She chatters endlessly about her paper. I asked her what she thought she would like to write about them, and she dictates what she wants, and then copies it out onto that “paper you can kinda see through”. At this point she needs a break, and I could use one too!
What was important was that we had a lot of fun. And will again. Using the book for hints, I was able to get her to think a little more about the photo and writing something about it. I was surprised how quickly she went from wanting to write “My Baby Photos” to writing a whole paragraph about how old she was, and who took the photo, and then she went on her own and added that she loved her Grammy and Mommy. It was really thoughtful and loving journaling, far more than I realized she could do!
At the end of that section of the book, we had come up with ideas for her next few pages. I wrote them down for her, and she is anxious to get at them again!
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