Continuing on my mission to show how books may be enhanced with activities I will share a program I held at the library in 2008 centering around the book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. I treated the participants who listened to me read the book over the course of several weeks with a surprise visit from Edward Tulane himself.
I once did a weekly series of programs for 1st-3rd graders at the library using the "Time Warp Trio" series. This was my Reading Rabbits group and I tried to introduce them to all sorts of books. I read books aloud to them and then we'd enjoy a snack while we made a craft or played a game, all the while encouraging them to check out similar books.
My aim for this particular series was to introduce different cultures, so I made a cookie from the highlighted country or culture and showed them a game that would be played there. Some of the games were tricky for this age group; still they were curious. I tried to print off a paper version for each child to take home to remind them of each game. Since the books in this series were too long to read in our time allowance, I read at least the first chapter to give them a sense of the story and let them decide if they wanted to continue reading the book on their own, before moving on to our activity.
There's no denying, the kids were most interested in the cookies. They enjoyed trying the different types and always wanted to know where the next cookie recipe was going to come from. And since they told their parents how much they liked the cookies, I started to print the recipes for them to take home.
Below are five of the programs I used for this series.
I am a writer of Children's and Young Adult books. I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and am an active member of SCBWI. I also have my MLS in Library Science with an emphasis on children and happily worked as a Children's Librarian for nearly 20 years. One of my favorite activities was reading books aloud to kids, especially to school-aged kids. Like the kids, I enjoy having stories read to me, so I listen to many of my books on audio and serve on audio judging committees.
Another favorite activity is creating fun snacks for library programs, friends, and family. I do that a lot and continually search for more ideas.
I have a tiny brown tabby cat named Gypsy, who originally belonged to my brother and sister-in-law, a very large Russian Blue mix named Bosley from the shelter who has quickly made himself at home, and a new puppy named Prince Albert. He's a Cavapoo, which means he's part Cavalier King Charles and part poodle, and adorable. I am married and live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband Rod.
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