Friday, October 1, 2010

Review: Tin Cups and Tinder: A Catholic Boy's Little Book of Fire, Food & Fun

Alice Cantrell does it yet again!  First, she came out with Sewing with St. Anne ... a classic hand- and machine-sewing book for girls that I've used extensively with mine own lovely girls and recommend to others for teaching sewing.  Then a few years later, she wrote Tea and Cake with the Saints: A Catholic Young Lady's Introduction to Hospitality and the Home Arts.  These were both directed at the girls in the family -- sewing and cooking and welcoming others.  The books were replete with great explanations of HOW to do all these wonderful skills.  These were proof that you could teach 21st century girls how to embrace the good, the true and the beautiful.

But what about the boys in the family?

Introducing Tin Cups and Tinder: A Catholic Boy's Little Book of Fire, Food & FunThis volume proofs that boys, too, can be taught the good, the true and the beautiful! If attractive pictures/presentation are half-the-battle for hooking a young audience today, than Cantrell has won the war.  The book includes gorgeous pictures of antique camping and outdoor cooking equipment and beautiful pictures of the final products ... if that doesn't get the boys in your house chompin' at the bit to use this book ....

The book begins by explaining cooking in the kitchen as well as cooking outdoors.  She then follows that section with a section of amazing, boy-friendly recipes:  cornbread, pancakes, brownies, and hot chocolate mix to name just a few.  

For more hands-on fun, the boys are taught to sew -- simple hand-stitching that comes in handy for sewing on buttons.  But, Cantrell adds some fun sewing projects:  a pot holder, haversack and a pocket-sized sewing kit.  She also explains WHY boys should sew!  These are projects that teach useful skills while also giving the boys something useful to have. 

The final section deals with book-binding -- making a nature notebook and a portable plant press(to keep in the haversack the boy made in the previous section).  What better way to have boys off couches, away from the video games, and out into God's creation than to have them create their own nature journals?  And the plant press is an ingenious use of out-grown board books.

Scattered throughout this useful book are quotes from male saints as well as biographies of these saints that help guide our young men to His Kingdom.

I can't recommend this book enough -- it's so wonderful to find a useful, beautifully presented, practical guide to life skills for boys.  And it's Catholic to-boot.  What's not to love?  This book needs to be high on every parent's Christmas list for their boys (and girls could get quite a bit of good stuff out of it,too).


1 comment:

  1. Picked up mine from the author herself at the park today! Can't wait to use it.