I just LOVE this book. Anyone who has ever owned a knife or will ever own one should have a copy, in fact everyone should buy it now! Here’s my review.
Can Children Whittle with Knives?
If you’re not sure what age to start your children learning knife and whittling skills have a read of my article on forest school for wild kids for inspiration. If you’ve haven’t heard of forest school it’s something I strongly believe that all schools should offer and if yours doesn’t, lots of forest school leaders offer weekend and holiday clubs as well as pre-school and home education sessions. Give it a try, you won’t regret it and your pre-schoolers could be whittling with peelers and knives before you know it!
Our copy was a gift to Wild Daddy from his Mum. At his cousin’s wedding in September (a very outdoorsy, celebrity affair) there were giant Jenga blocks instead of a guest book.
Wild Daddy engraved a commemoration onto our block (using the carving knife for the roast), which apparently impressed Wild Mother-in-Law so much that she bought him the book with a set of craft knives for Christmas – immediately requisitioned by me!
Clean and Simple Layout
Chris Lubkemann’s The Little Book of Whittling is cleanly laid out with eye-catching, step-by-step photos accompanying easy to follow material guides and instructions.
It is American-published but this in no way affects its UK appeal and the author’s 40 years of whittling experience and obvious love of his craft shine from every page.
A Variety of Tutorials
It details the process for whittling a selection of 19 projects including a back scratcher, whistle, mini canoe, cooking utensils, cutlery and knives, figurines, a slingshot and nature-inspired carvings. There’s even a ‘miniatures challenge’ at the end, enthusing the reader to get started.
Not my carving (I bought it) but one I’ll certainly be trying now I (We!)’ve got the book
Top Tips Included
With humourous anecdotes, the book also includes outdoor tips on everything from preventing whittlers’ blisters, what not to feed the ducks(?!), campfire songs, first aid kits and how to keep animals away from food on the trail, to recipes, knots, animal tracks and camping advice. A brilliant addition to any camping backpack.
The 10 Extremely Important Rules of Carving
This is one of my favourite list compilations from the book: –
All in all an excellent book; interesting, fun, informative and definitely one to keep. Welcome to the world of whittling!
Carve a Wooden Mushroom
If you need to try some whittling before buying this book, the following tutorials from UK Forest School Leader Richard Irvine are brilliant and include an inspiring time-lapse video as well as a printable ‘Minizine’ guide.
If you’re keen to try forest school or other outdoor activities with your children take a look at why getting outside is important, which leads on to several posts with outdoor activity ideas.
For more great books to inspire a love of nature and the outdoors browse Kids of the Wild’s reviews section.
Richard Irvine’s 15 things to do with Elder Wood at Forest School
Carve a Mushroom video
Mushrooms printable Minizine – it really works.
Why not post photos of your own attempts on our Facebook page, Kids of the Wild?
Buy the Book
Click on the image to find the best price on Amazon