Kathy Cano-Murillo: Waking Up in the Land of Glitter

by Rachel Baker on April 13, 2010

I like glitter!  I have since I was a little girl doing those silly craft projects in early elementary school.  You know which ones I’m talking about – the ones that pre-school and early education teachers have their students do every holiday so that the kids’ moms and dads have something hand-made from their children.  Remember?  The ones where the teacher made lines of Elmer’s glue and you got to dump tons and tons of primary color glitter all over the paper and when it dried it looked like a Christmas bell to hang on the tree or a shamrock with a magnet on the backside to hand on the fridge or an Easter egg to add to the Easter morning decorations.  However, the caveat to that is I never ever use glitter – haven’t since the early years of homemade projects for the Christmas tree.

When Hachette Book Group offered an opportunity to read and review Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo, I couldn’t resist.

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter was a fun read on the crafty level.  The story is about self-discovery, for the most part.  In the course of self-discovery, the female characters find friendship in the unlikeliest of places – a craft group.

For me, there was a bit too much drama in each of the girl’s lives all at once, but the writing was good and the story was somewhat inspiring on the craft making level.  Since reading Waking Up in the Land of Glitter, I’ve gone nuts with Elmer’s Glue and box tops and Easter candy wrappers; I’ve stitched paper together to make cards, and I’ve looked longingly at glitter tubes in the craft section of stores; I’ve made a blank book, and I’ve studied the afghan my mother made me at Christmas to see if I could figure out how she did it.  Nothing in my house is safe right now.

One of the excellent things about Waking Up in the Land of Glitter is the two craft project ‘recipes’ at the back of the book.  There’s one for a love shrine, and one for growing a glittered Cactus garden – both are two featured craft projects in the book. I’m not sure I will every make a Cactus garden, but I’m definitely considering the love shrine. The story in Waking Up in the Land of Glitter is centered around these two craft projects; and I think it was an added bonus for the author to add these two projects at the end.

The other great consideration made by the author is including a Spanish/Spanglish glossary.  The book has many Spanish terms throughout the dialogue.  The glossary gives the meaning of these terms as they are used by Star (the main character).

Kathy Cano-Murillo’s book had me surfing through her website within minutes of finishing the book.  There are a million and twelve craft projects, a great blog with wonderful pictures of her art; and links to all her craft books and the Crafty Chica line of art supplies. The site is colorful and chock-ful of great information.  Her blog is fun to read and as inspiring as her book.

I’m not positive everyone will enjoy this drama-filled book, but for those those that pick it up and read it, I would like to issue a warning:  Its very possible that your ‘inner craft goddess’ may begin to stir and eventually demand that you unleash her.  If this occurs, do not fight it.  Take a look around you, there’s a million things you can make with a little glue, some thread, a pair of scissors, and yes…glitter.  I think I am at the Ofie stage of my crafting, and you may be too…but that’s okay.  Allow your craft goddess to take you on an inspiring adventure of self-discovery.

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