Ever since I started a little book project a couple of years ago, I've been paying attention to things that hint (or explicitly mention) "family fun" in a whole new way.

Anni Daulter and Heather Fontenot's new book, Naturally Fun Parties for Kids, arrived in the mail and accompanied me in the car to my favorite crafty-friend's house.

"Look," I exclaimed, "A book you can use!"

"Sarah," she said as she flipped through it, pausing to "ooo" and "ahh," "This looks like a book YOU can use!"

Yes, that's right, here is a book that the party-shy, glue-gun-hating, anti-entertaining Sarah Reinhard can not only use, but enjoy.

For one thing, there are the photos. Each of the twelve parties is accompanied by photos that are useful and beautiful.

For another thing, there is the way the parties aren't intimidating.

Well, wait a minute, that's not quite right. They would be intimidating, I suppose, if I intended to do them the way they are designed. I mean, the kids in the pictures are in what look like handmade clothing, eating what I assume are homemade, organic foods, recycling everything but the earth beneath them.

But I can't help but go through this book and feel like I CAN do it, and that's something! Though I have no intention of hosting a big party like this, why not use the craft ideas, and hey, maybe even the theme ideas, within my own family life? Why not make it something my seven-year-old, who loves a good tussle with the glue gun and a chance to paint and cut and fashion, can be in charge of?

Naturally Fun Parties for Kids is a resource I'll be dog-earing and book-marking. It's one I'll be sharing (but keeping track of, too, because I want it back!).

Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard