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.

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