Carpentry for kids; Woodworking with Kids, by Richard Starr. Newton, Conn.: The Taunton Press, Box 355, Newtown, Conn. 06470. 205 pp. $18.95.

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Carpentry for Children, by Lester Walker. Preface by David MacCaulay. Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook/Viking Press. 208 pp. $14.95.

One way to discover the creative potential of your child is to introduce him or her to the art of woodworking. In ''Woodworking with Kids,'' Richard Starr, who teaches woodworking in New Hampshire, shows the reader how to help children become familiar with the wood and the tools needed to make simple projects. According to Starr, it doesn't matter if the supervisor has had previous experience. What you need are a few tools and enough time and patience for you and your child to learn to build something of which both of you can be proud.

The first chapters deal with projects that children as young as 5 can make - a toy man, an airplane, and a box. The second part is aimed at older children, aged 11 to 15. These projects - a table, a carved sign, and a stool - demand more skill and accuracy.

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A section in the back of the book is devoted to learning about tools and developing techniques. Overall, the book is well written and easy to follow.

Another recent woodworking book is ''Carpentry for Children.'' Its focus is wider, including simplified projects such as a birdhouse, a puppet theater, and a raft. Each project is divided into segments: assembling the tools and materials; sawing the parts; assembling the parts; and finishing the project. The instructions and diagrams are clear.

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