Reviews /

The Handbook of Forgotten Skills

Authored by Elaine Baptiste and Natalie Crowley
Illustrated by Chris Duriez
Published by Magic Cat Publishing

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The Handbook of Forgotten Skills is a wonderful non-fiction book jam-packed full of things to do that don’t involve looking at a screen.

My eyes were drawn to it as soon as I saw it. The cover illustrations by Chris Duriez and the texture transported back to my own childhood. The book looks, feels (and I am sure even smells…but that might just be me) of the books I enjoyed growing up. The beauty of this book is that it can be read out of sequence. I enjoyed jumping from one item to another as I spotted different things I wanted to read.

Authors, Elaine Baptiste and Natalie Crowley, have started each section with a short piece of history about the item, where it originated and why you might want to try it. This is followed by easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. My children had great fun growing herbs and we had a go at skimming stones on the beach.

The book is full of activities to encourage children (and adults) to put down their screens and enjoy activities at a slower pace. For parents and carers, it provides a delightful bit of nostalgia and an opportunity to share what they enjoyed growing up. When reading the section on making lemonade, I told my children how I used to make perfume from petals and gift it to my mother. I think I know what I will be getting on Mothers’ Day.