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Beatrix Potter Project Pack Review by Heather Randall

By Katie Kubesh, Niki McNeil, and Kimm Bellotto
In the Hands of a Child
3271 Kerlikowske Road
Coloma, MI 49038

Imagine learning a mix of art, vocabulary, geography, detailed biographical information, and history in a fun and educational way. That is what you will experience with the Beatrix Potter Project Pack, a spiral-bound collection of information, education, and quality reproducible materials. Inside you'll find 20 activities that will educate your child on the life and times of Beatrix Potter. You will also find a list of books, movies, and websites for further study. The reproducible mini books contain 25 black-and-white illustrations from Beatrix Potter's beloved books. Project Packs are prepared unit studies with a lapbook flair. You will need file folders and a few art supplies such as crayons, markers, glue, tape, and a stapler. Since the pages are reproducible, having a printer or access to a printer is needed for making copies. I suggest purchasing pastel paper for your copies to add an extra softness to the project.

In this Project Pack, which is intended for grades 3-6, students will read short sections of biographical information on Beatrix Potter. Through vocabulary, writing, and tangible review with hands-on materials, students will form an understanding of Potter's deep appreciation for nature. They'll study the development of her artistic talent and learn the personalities of and inspiration for her characters. Children will also form a respect for Potter's commitment to publishing books tailored specifically for children. The Project Pack covers vocabulary, geography, historical information about Victorian life, and detailed information on the life and legacy of a wonderful artist. This type of instruction fits perfectly in a homeschool environment, and the Project Pack even offers easy instructions for adapting the material for an older or younger student. In the Hands of a Child also invites parents to contact them for more suggestions if the given ones somehow fall short. I enjoyed the ease and flexibility of using the Project Pack and found it very adaptable to multi-grade learning.

I am a big fan of Beatrix Potter. There are many options on the market for studying her books, but what makes the Beatrix Potter Project Pack special is the behind-the-scenes look at her life. I think her books and illustrations speak for themselves. Studying her life made her work even more meaningful. My children had already made friends with Beatrix Potter's books and the clever characters they contain, but the Project Pack helped them to appreciate her as an individual with interests and talents all her own.

This is a really fun project. If Beatrix Potter books are on your reading list, I suggest you give the Beatrix Potter Project Pack a try. Take the time to get a behind-the-scenes look at her life and have a little fun learning with your kids.

Product review by Heather Randall, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2010