Monday, March 30, 2009


On March 28th, 2009, I hosted "An Afternoon with Winnie the Pooh" program at the Bucyrus Public Library. From an initial sign-up of over 50 children, 36 attended with parents. Ages ranged from preschool and under up through age 10.

As each participant arrived, they were given bear-shaped nametags cut with an Ellison die. They were also encouraged to sign up for the door prizes, which were begin given away at the end of the program. The afternoon began with me sharing the news that in October 2009, Dutton Books for Young Readers will publish Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, the first authorized sequel to A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh
(1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928). The author of this sequel will be David Benedictus. The book will, like those that came before it, consist of 10 stories. I then shared a Golden Book entitled Bounce Around, Tigger!

The participants were then released to six craft tables, where they could make Pooh-themed crafts. The crafts were:

Pooh loves to write poems, or "hums", as he calls them. Participants were given a bear shape on which to write a poem. It could be about Winnie the Pooh or any subject they wished. These hums were handed in to me for a display in the Children's Room.


This made the cutest hat. Strips of long brown construction paper were first used to make a band that went around the child's head. These were stapled together. Next, another thin strip was staped across what would be the top of the head. Ends were trimmed. Ear shapes where provided and cut out and stapled to this crosspiece.
Ta da! Instant Pooh ears!

A bookmark from the site was used. Copies were made on our color printer. The bookmark that I used was called "The Thoughtful Spot". Participants simply trimmed down the bookmark to the outside of the red outlined area. A laminator was used (children were encouraged to put their names on the backs of the bookmarks) to cover them. Once laminated, a hole was punched in the top of the bookmark, and ribbon was inserted through and tied.

This craft was simply a drawing of Winnie the Pooh that participants could color.

Participants first colored and cut out all pieces that made up Winnie the Pooh and his pot of honey. An example was available for them to look at in order to do the assembly.

Two identical patterns of Pooh were first colored and them cut out. According to directions, slits were cut in both and they were fit together. A hole was punched in the top and the craft could be hung.

Refreshments were served to all of those present. These consisted of cookies with yellow icing (yellow for Pooh, of course), pretzels, and a mixture of cinnamon Teddy Grahams and Honey Bee shapes. Juice pouches were also available.

At the conclusion of the program, drawings were held for a number of Winnie the Pooh books.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


On February 28, 2009, I hosted a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" at the Bucyrus Public Library. There were 36 participants in attendance, a good mix of both boys and girls!

As the participants arrived, each was given a nametag. I used an Ellison die shaped like a house for this program. Everyone gathered in a group as a biography of Jeff Kinney was shared. Participants were thrilled to know that more books in the series are planned and to find out that Fox 2000 has picked up an option to make a live-action movie that will include the first three books.

Once the biography was concluded, trivia questions were read. The group proved to be absolute scholars on the series, as they answered question after question!

Once this was done, participants could choose the following craft stations:

In the series, Rowley, who is Greg's best friend, is falsely accused of chasing kindergarteners with a worm on a stick, which proves to really be Greg with his coat over his head. Participants colored and cut out a worm shape and then glued it to a large craft stick.

This activity was taken from activity guide available online for the third book in the series, The Last Straw. On the left hand side of the page is a small drawing of Greg Heffley's dream house, complete with indoor pool, bowling alley, and go-kart track! On the right hand side, participants got to design their own dream homes.

In the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Darnell Washington falls and brushes the moldy cheese that's been lying on the basketball court with his finger, thus creating "The Cheese Touch". Participants got to create their own pieces of moldy cheese by coloring and cutting out a cheese pattern and then adding arms, legs, and a face to it.

This activity was also taken from The Last Straw activity guide. On the left-hand size of the page are listed 4 rules for the Heffley family. Participants were challenged to come up with four rules of their own for their families. We compiled these on a board. Some of our favorites were:

Tacos every day for dinner!

Video games are always allowed!

Don't make me eat green beans!

Steak for dinner every night!

Let me sleep in every day!

Dessert with every meal!

Don't kill youself or burn the house down when Mom and Dad aren't there! (my personal favorite!)

Don't wake me up on weekends until 9:00 a.m.

Participants were also treated to snacks, which consisted of juice pouches, cookies, pretzels, and, since the Cheese Touch plays such an important part in the books, cheese-flavored popcorn.

Two copies of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book were also purchased and given away as door prizes.

I have also developed a read-alike list and did an in-house display of the books listed. This display was up in our Children's Room for the month preceding the program. Fliers advertising the program were sent to all area elementary and middle schools.

As I mentioned above, there is an activity guide available on-line that goes along with the latest book, The Last Straw. Some of the activities included in it could be used to enhance your program.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


On January 24, 2009, 20 participants met in the Bucyrus Public Library's brand new Community Room for an afternoon of Fancy Nancy fun! The majority of the little girls came dressed in their "Fancy Nancy finest", complete with gloves and tiaras in some cases!

As participants arrived, they were given a nametag that said, "Bonjour, my name is...." This came from the Fancy Nancy site.

Children's Librarian Barbara Scott welcomed all with a "bonjour" (that's Nancy's fancy way of saying hello), and shared a brief biography of both Jane O'Conner (the author of the Fancy Nancy books) and Robin Preiss Glasser, the book's illustrator. She also shared the book Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy.

Participants were then released to five different tables located around the room where they could do Fancy Nancy crafts. These stations were:

Create Your Own Bauble!
At this table, participants could pick bracelet styles from a preprinted construction paper with 3 styles on it. This was obtained from the Fancy Nancy site. Stickers were purchased at the local Wal-Mart. As well, odds and ends of star stickers, self-adhesive decorations from Christmas ornament decorations and crayons were provided. Participants could decorate their bauble/bracelet however they wished.

The Perfect Pet Drawing Activity
This activity was also taken from the Fancy Nancy site. Pre-printed sheets invited participants to draw a picture of their perfect pet and also tell all about, what it liked to eat, etc.

Fancy Nancy Coloring Page
This was another great activity from the Fancy Nancy site. Participants used crayons or markers to color a picture of Nancy herself!

Let's Make Fancy Crowns!
This was one of the most popular stations! We had left-over crowns from the Dragons, Dreams, and Daring Deeds summer program as well as left-over ones from our Narnia program. These are the gold foil ones that we purchased through J and A Handy-Crafts. They come in packs of 24 crowns, complete with glue, feathers, foil star stickers and jewels, all for $20.88. The kids had a ball with these!

Let's Make a Fancy Necklace!
This was, by far and away, the most popular station! Wal-Mart has large bags of all sorts of beads for $2-3.00 I purchased 3 of these and also purchased plastic lanyard for stringing. The kids made necklaces, bracelets, even rings in some cases! They were all tres chic! (At this station, I think the moms and grandmas had as much fun as the kids!)

Snacks were served as part of the afternoon. We had cookies, pretzels, fruit snacks and punch. You could easily do finger sandiches or fancy cookies!

Door prizes were also drawn for. The library purchased two Fancy Nancy paperbacks (also from the local Wal-Mart) and our local radio station gave us 8 sets of Fancy Nancy card games that they had gotten.

Although Fancy Nancy's favorite color is purple, I could not find purple tablewear at our Wal-Mart. I opted for pink. I used a pink feather boa (which I wore earlier in the program) to wrap around the punch bowl, and had some fancy little hats and a pair of red high-heel shoes on the snack table as decoration.

Any party catalog that supplies princess items would work for a program like this. And in looking for door prizes or things for goodie bags, check the "princess" section of catalogs or stores. They will be a treasure trove of items!