Friday, April 18, 2008


As part of our National Library Week celebration, on April 17, 2008, the Bucyrus Public Library hosted a drop-in program featuring the book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. On page 60 of the March 2008 Book Links magazine, in their "Need to Know" section, it was noted that, to celebrate the paperback release of the book, Edward is touring libraries and schools from coast to coast. I visted the website and noted that we could get a large Edward Tulane doll for display, as well as receive a teacher's kit with a reader's theatre script, puzzles, etc.

The doll was booked through Costume Specialists of Columbus, Ohio, and we were lucky enough to have him during National Library Week. Our program was done as a drop-in one, due to our on-going construction.

We received the doll well in advance, along with a wonderful teacher's guide and a DVD featuring an interview with both Kate DiCamillo and the book's illustrator. This interview is also available for download at Since I wanted it to play for the duration of the program (the whole interview is less than 3 minutes, I popped it into Windows Media Player and copied it over and over until I had a sufficient running time that I didn't have to keep running to the laptop every so often to restart it.

A journal comes packed along with the rabbit. This journal travels with Edward and is a record of his travels to different cities, schools, and libraries for events. Participants were encouraged to sign the journal and make any comments about the book that they wished. The completed journal will be given to the book's author once it is filled.

Participants were able to do 4 crafts as part of the program:

Since the book is set close to this era or at around the turn of the century, I thought it would be a great idea to make paper dolls. I supplied two paper dolls that I had found on-line and them copied and enlarged on our color copier. One was a girl in Victorian dress, and the other was a boy. These were copied off onto card stock. Each doll had one outfit that was also included on the card stock that could be cut out and placed on the doll. I also included a short history of paper dolls that participants could cut out (using scrapbooking scissors for a fancy cut) and then paste onto the front of a small manila envelope (given to them so that they could put the dolls and clothes in one place). Picture of the completed dolls is above!

For the door hanger, I used the Ellison door hanger die and cut the hangers out of poster board. I found a decent picture of Edward (sitting on a shelf in his finery) by doing a Google search. This was enlarged and copied on our color copier. I also typed out the slogan "Reading is a Miraculous Journey" in a nice Victorian-looking font and this was on the same page with the picture. Participants cut out both the slogan and picture and pasted them onto the poster board door hanger. You can see the completed doorhanger in the picture above!

Crazy quilts were popular in Victorian times as well as around the turn of the century. I can remember my maternal grandmother having a couple that were used all of the time and they were just fascinating to look at! In looking on the internet, I found a site that had 4 different patterns. In looking at the patterns, it occurred to me that I could lay the pattern pieces (once cut out) over pieces of wallpaper, cut them out, and then reassemble them with a black construction paper backing. Participants had the choice of the 4 patterns. Whichever one they liked (and I had them on display) could be taken to the copier, copied off, and then cut apart to use as templates to lay on the wallpaper pieces. I went to one of our local wallpaper and paint stores and asked them for any discontinued books that they might have. They are always happy to get rid of these! Once I had cut my wall paper pieces out and assembled them into the original pattern, I took a black marker and made "X" marks all across where the pieces butted up against each other (don't know if these really show up in the picture above). These represented the stitches holding the "fabric" pieces together. I think it turned out quite well!

This cute bunny craft was made up entirely of heart shapes (except for his teeth)! Participants colored and cut out the bunnies and then assembled them according to example.

Snacks were served for this program as well. Since it was a drop-in program, I had somewhat portable snacks, such as cookies, fruit snacks and juice pouches.

A table was also provided with some handouts from the teacher packet, as well as a large bookmark that I developed entitled "If You Liked Edward Tulane, Try..." with a list of similar-themed books. This was copied off on card stock for durability.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


On the 22nd of March in the town of Bucyrus, a program celebrating the release of the new movie "Horton Hears a Who" was held at the Bucyrus Public Library. Due to our ongoing construction, this program was done as a drop-in, where participants could come and go as they pleased. This could also be done as a regular program, as all of the components are there. We just simply don't have a meeting area large enough, since half of our community room is being used for storage and our annex books quickly for meetings for the community.

I prepared a Powerpoint presentation detailing the story of the book as well as some biographical information on Dr. Seuss. This powerpoint could be used to open a regular program, as well as sharing the book.

Participants could move to 5 different craft stations to make Horton/elephant-themed crafts. All of the crafts we did are pictured above, so you can get an idea of how they looked. These crafts were:

EVERYONE'S AN ELEPHANT!--At this station, participants could make ears and look just like Horton! I took the ear pattern that I had found online and enlarged them. These ears were colored, cut out, and then affixed to two strips of construction paper that were fitted to the child's head.

HEART ELEPHANT PAPER CRAFT--This cute elephant craft was made up entirely of hearts. Pieces were first colored, then cut out, and then assembled according to instructions. There was also an example for participants to follow.

ELEPHANT TOILET PAPER ROLL CRAFT--The base of this craft is a toilet paper roll! The pattern for the elephant's body was copied onto construction paper. They were first colored and then cut out. Then, they were affixed to a toilet paper roll. We had to agree that the completed craft certainly looked a lot like Horton himself!

HORTON THE ELEPHANT COLORING PAGE--This station simply had a coloring page taken from online that featured Horton and the small clover on which the Who live. Participants colored the page. You could choose to display the page at your library and have extras for your patrons to take with them.

I DID SOMETHING GOOD TODAY CERTIFICATE--These certificates were taken from online ( printed on our color printer. Participants could take the certificates and when mom or dad caught them being good (not arguing with a brother or sister, helping around the house, etc.) they could award them.

The Seussville site mentioned above was also used to print out word searches, mazes, etc. for participants to take with them.

While participants worked on the crafts, songs from the CD "Songs of Dr. Seuss and More" played on a portable player.

Snacks were also served as part of the program. These included pretzels, fruit snacks, brownies, and juice boxes. Using mostly prepackaged snacks and drinks for these drop-in programs has been a great help. I usually make a large bowl of punch and someone has to man the table. Having the prepackaged drinks saves a lot of mess!

Participants for this program ranged in age from preschoolers to older elementary.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Due again to our on-going construction, this book character program was also done a drop-in program. This could also be done as a sign-up participation program. All of the components are here!

A note: Costume Specialists of Columbus, Ohio have a Nate the Great costume available. It came be viewed at under the Book Characters category and then under the Random House listings. It also features a small pop-up window where you view the costume and specifics about the size the wearer has to be!

I did develop a Powerpoint presentation for Nate the Great. If anyone would like it, I'd gladly send it along! It consists of a short author biography, brief information on the books, and a short quiz on the series.

There were 6 activity stations for participants to travel to. They were:

Ten candy bars were cut into cross-sections and placed on plates marked Exhibits 1 through 10. It was up to participants to guess what candy bar that the cross-section came from. It is helpful to cut any candy bar that might be circular into a small square, if possible, thereby further disguising it! Here is a list of the candy bars that I used: Hershey's (regular), Almond Joy, Twix, Snickers, York Peppermint Patty, 3 Musketeers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Milky Way, Butterfinger, and Kit Kat. I had to use the Hershey's bar in place of a Zero bar. No one seems to carry them anymore (at least our local Wal-Mart didn't). The signs on each of the plates were done in a font from either Publisher or Word that resembled cut-out newsprint letters. Once participants had guess what they thought all ten bars were and had them written down, I checked them. Just for playing, they received their choice of a small kaleidoscope spyglass or nose and eyeglasses disguise kit. Attention librarians who used the "Get a Clue" theme: here's a great opportunity to use/get rid of extra prizes left over! See photo above for the lay-out!

From a Nate the Great handout, 31 words that could be part of a book title were enlarged and then cut apart and laminated for durability. The 31 paper pieces were put in a container. Participants were invited to pull out 6 pieces (no fair peeking!) and try to make a title out of the words that they ended up with. Here is one that I did: Missing Mysterious Haunted Creepy Creature Cats. An easel pad and marker were provided to jot down the often hilarious combinations! See photo above!

See photo above for how this turned it! The base of this craft is an Ellison door hanger die cut. Participants could choose to color the entire doorhanger (or not). A small picture of Nate was found and enlarged and copied. This picture was then colored and pasted onto the door hanger. Also, the words "Search for Books" was taken from the Scramble-a-Mystery page and added as a slogan!

White construction paper was provided, along with a paper cutter, for participants to use to make whatever size bookmark them wished. Stamps and stamp pads were also provided so that participants could decorate the bookmark. I used a detective stamp that was left over from Ohio's summer reading program many years ago ("Who Made the Splash?" I believe was the theme). The stamp is of a Sherlock Holmes-looking character with a magnifying glass. The second stamp that I used was left over from the Summ 2007 "Get a Clue" theme. It was the fingerprint with the word "Read" across the top. Participants used these two stamps to make whatever design that they wished on the bookmark. The bookmarks were laminated and hole-punched so that a piece of ribbon could be threaded through. See the example in the picture above!

Figures of Nate, Rosamund, and Oliver were copied onto construction paper and then ready for participants to color, cut out, and then glue onto jumbo craft sticks. See the examples above!

Sludge is Nate's dog and crime-fighting companion, so it's only natural that we feature him in a craft. Patterns for the dog's body and head and legs were colored and then cut out. The large retangular piece wrapped around the toilet paper roll and other pieces were added following the example.

Snacks of cookies, pretzels, fruit snacks, and Capri-Sun juice drinks were served to participants. Handouts were also available with puzzles, word searches, and recipes for invisible ink!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Due to our on-going construction and lack of parking, this program was done as a passive program, due to poor sign-up. But, all of the elements of a full-blown program are available to you should you wish to use them!

As with our other programs, a Powerpoint presentation about Ramona and her creator, Beverly Cleary was done to begin the program. This Powerpoint highlighted the Ramona series of books, characters in the series, and the life of the author. It is interesting to note that Cleary herself was a poor reader early in school. As she went on through school, eventually receiving training as a librarian, she was asked by children about books "about children like themselves". These comments are what prompted her to begin her successful writing career.

I also wrote a Reader's Theatre script taking an excerpt from Chapter 1/Ramona's Great Day from the book Ramona the Pest. I had intended to make use of our Teen Advisory Board to perform this short play for participants. The script is available if you'd like it!

Those present were able to do the following Ramona-themed crafts:

NAME ART--When Ramona was learning how to write her name, she discovered the the Q in her last name (Quimby) looked like a kitty-cat from behind! Participants took the letter that their first or last name (or both) began with and were challenged to draw an animal that it either looked like or started with. As you can see from the example above, I've done my name. The "B" from my first name became a camel and the "S" from my last name morphed into a snake!

--Ribsy the dog is actually owned by Henry Huggins. But, when Henry rescues Ramona and her red rain boots from a mud puddle, Ramona is determined to marry him! The base of this craft is a toilet paper roll. Participants colored and cut out the piece that covered roll, plus the tail, legs, and head (see example pictured above).

RAMONA BOOKMARK--This cute bookmark was colored and then laminated. Once the lamination was complete, a hole was punched in the top and ribbon threaded through! See example pictured above!

LET'S MAKE PANTS FOR ELLA FUNT!--In the book Ramona and Her Mother, Ramona struggles to make pants for her stuffed elephant, Ella Fun! Participants colored their elephants and added whatever type of pants they wanted. As you can see by my example, my pants have a "Elmer" kind of feel!

AN "EGG HEAD" CRAFT!--In the book Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona loves 3rd grade and her new teacher, Mrs. Whaley. The kids in the class start a trend of cracking their hard-boiled eggs on their head before eating them. One day, Ramona's mom doesn't hard boil her egg and poor Ramona ends up with raw egg all over her head! Participants took a page that contained a blank head shape and drew themselves. Once they were done, using yellow tempera paint as our "egg" mixture, we dripped egg all over them! See my example for how it might turn out!
The participants really enjoyed this craft, although we all agreed that it was hard to draw yourself!

Snacks were served to those present. Since this was a passive program, participants could take a break from crafts whenever they wished to eat or eat while they worked.