Friday, May 16, 2014

Bookworms Book Club - Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs!

This was our last Bookworms Book Club meeting for the school year, and what a great year it has been!

This month we read: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

This is a great example of a fractured fairy tale, putting a twist on the traditional Goldilocks and the Three Bears story.

In Willems' version, the dinosaurs make chocolate pudding instead of porridge, so naturally, we had chocolate pudding cups as our snack!

We had such a great time reading through this book together because there is so much see! Just check out these endpapers:
These made everyone laugh!

There are also plenty of good dinosaur jokes:
"Wipe Your Talons"

And of course, we hunted for, and found, the Pigeon! Can you find him hiding in this page?
(check the cookie jar!)

After we finished reading our book, we quickly skimmed through this traditional version of the tale by Byron Barton:

Next, it was time to compare and contrast! (yes, I used to be a Language Arts teacher) I like using visual aids, so we drew a big Venn diagram on our dry erase board:

We talked about what was the same in the two stories (i.e. Goldilocks, three of everything - animals, bowls, chairs, beds, etc.) and what was different (Dinos vs. bears, etc.) The children really did a great job with this, and thought about things such as the characters' intentions in both stories, as well as their actions.  There was definitely some critical thinking going on!

Next, we brainstormed other fairy tale stories to which we would like to add dinosaurs.  Here are some of the titles we came up with:
Beauty and the Dinosaur
Sleeping Dinosaur
Snow White and the Seven Dinosaurs
If you had more time, it would be great to have kids draw a cover page for one of these fractured fairy tales!

Next, it was time to get up and play! Since Goldilocks couldn't find a chair to sit in, I thought we should play Musical Chairs! This was so much fun!
We even used a dinosaur song: We Are the Dinosaurs by the Laurie Berkner Band

As the kids got "out," they were handed a goodie bag (leftover SRP prizes from previous years), so there were really no hurt feelings about losing.

Next was our craft, which we actually ran out of time for and didn't get to do! This was a little sad because I spent quite a bit of prep time tracing and cutting out pieces, but I suppose I'll just have to save them for another time.
Here is my Dinosaur Suncatcher (thank you, Pinterest!)

The outline of the dinosaur is cardstock, stuck to a sheet of clear contact paper.  You fill in the inside with pieces of tissue paper, and the close it up with another sheet of clear contact paper, and cut out your dinosaur! Voila! I think he's pretty cute!

I did have time to have the kids vote on their favorite books that we read this year and here are the results:
Easiest to Read: TIE between The Hallowiener by Dav Pilkey and Fancy Nancy Sees Stars by Jane O'Connor
Funniest: We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
Favorite: Green Eggs and Ham by good ol' Dr. Seuss!

This was such a great year for this little book club that could.  Looking back, I had very consistent attendance all year long, and such enthusiastic little readers! I can't wait to get started on planning next year's meetings! See you in September!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Teen Anime Cafe

Does your library have an Anime or Manga club?  We had a successful one for years, but with the changes in the movie licensing (meaning a lot of companies went out of business or sold off so there was no telling who held the licenses any more), and the prevalence of free Manga and Anime online, our numbers dropped off.  We couldn't get permission to show the Animes the kids wanted....and the kids were reading their Manga online.  We decided to merge the clubs, and change up what we would do at the sessions.

We have had great success with cosplay workshops.  The teens have made ears, tails, claws and even come dressed to the meetings.  Anime conventions are huge around here, so I attend them for programming ideas.

Another successful program has been our Anime Cafe.  I have done this program several times now and we are always 'sold out.'

One little tid-bit about  me.  I lived in Japan for four years.  Because of that, I have a comfort level with presenting on the topic of Japan and Japanese Culture, along with my friend Etsuko who is Japanese.  I met Etsuko in Japan and as fate would have it, she is now in Ohio in the same town as I am!

Each session goes like this:  We prepare a menu based on the season.  There are several dishes laid out buffet style, where the kids can sample the different foods.  They are asked to try everything and know that some things might not be their taste.  This isn't really dinner for them - it is more like a sampling event. boss snuck into Anime Cafe this time...

Then Etsuko and I show the teens how to make one specific dish.  This time we made gyoza, which is really based on a Chinese pan fried dumpling.  It is a ground meat, usually pork, mixed with vegetables and seasonings.
Gyoza is the one in the background.  In front is a comfort dish - like a stew.

We taught the kids how to fill and seal the dumplings, and then fried them in the pan.  It is fun for them to give it a try.

We have presented Anime Cafe three times so far.  Once we made hand rolled sushi just as I remember having at a friends house.  Another time we made Takoyaki - which is like a fritter but filled with a piece of octopus.  Takoyaki is everywhere at festival time, because its easy to carry around on skewers.  The foods we choose to demonstrate are those the teens will see in Animes.  It puts the name of the food with the live version and the taste, and they can really relate.
**On an allergy note, we work out our menu and have a list of ingredients on hand for registrations.  We do not force anyone to eat anything, but we encourage kids to look over the menu before they register. 

This library will be carrying on the tradition of Anime Cafe now that I have moved branches.  Other libraries have talked to my friend about presenting to teens and adults.  Any program with food is going to be a hit, but you would be amazed how many kids are quite fascinated by different cultures and want that hands on experience.  I encourage you to learn a little about a culture, or visit your local cultural group, and ask them to do a little presentation at the library.  I bet everyone would just love it!

Thanks for stopping by!