Saturday, November 17, 2007

Reading and Activity Day at The Harvard Coop Barnes and Noble Kid's Room

I had my first-ever official Book Reading today at The Harvard Coop's Barnes and Noble Kid's section, in Harvard Square, Cambridge (my own 'hood)! The Harvard Coop's Barnes and noble kid's section has children's book readings-plus-activity every Saturday at 11 am, and I was very honored to be the guest reader/illustrator/craft guest today! The even had a nice sign advertising my appearance, which I didn't expect! It was kind of a thrill - I felt a little special after seeing that. :)

I read The Months to a captive audience! During the reading, some of the kids were quiet and seemed quite relaxed, others had some interesting conversational comments about the book! We had a good time, and the 'reading' part of our day was over pretty quickly!

I had prepared a fun theme tie-in activity for us to do:
holiday ornaments!!

I made these sample ornaments the night before, to show the group a finished ornament

To prepare:
I used a can bottom to trace circles on pieces of chipboard. Then, I cut out the circles and punched holes into them (for hanging string from).

I traced and cut circles of the same size on sheets of colored felt and construction paper. These would be pasted on either side of the cardboard circles. From the felt scraps, I also cut out some smaller shapes as well, for extra decorating fodder.

I also had bought a bunch of fun stick-on decorative things, for the kids to design their ornaments with - pom poms, glittery "gems" and metallic "confetti" holiday shapes. Then, to finish their ornament with a festive touch, I had ribbons and jingle bells on hand!

In the thick of it!

The kids really swooped in like a tornado, too! There were more kids than there was room at the craft table for, but I only noticed that later, as I was so busy assisting and chatting with the kids and parents. Luckily, at the Harvard Coop Kids' Room, there is a really nice reading area with table with chairs, which is about 20 feet from where the craft table was set up. There was snacks over there, so there was plenty of time for trading focus for the kids between snacks/reading, or activity/craft.

My craft was actually a surprise - The Coop folks also had a craft which they had planned - they had printed out 12-month calendars which were ready to be illustrated!! (It was nice to have two activities that complimented each other so well!)

Kids are so funny... they are all so filled with energy and enthusiasm for 1,000 things at once, that they really did hit like a tornado and then, 15 minutes later, there were only a few stragglers left at the table, either making a second ornament, or perfecting their first! Boy were these kids talented!! If I had not been so busy, I'd have taken more photos! I'd have loved to get some shots of some of the final ornaments, but alas these 'group tornado' shots will have to do!!

After the tornado hit, there was a little breathing room!! Whew!!

Thanks so much to the two Coop book sellers that helped me out today - - they were both SO great and kind, and they really have their whole 'Saturday morning plan' down very well. These ladies did not miss a trick!! I enjoyed hanging with them!

I definitely look forward to returning again, when my next book is published!! :) :) (And hey, it was so much fun, maybe even before then. :) )


ValGalArt said...

Congratulations Kathy your "months" is really cooking! It is so exciting!!!

Eric Orchard said...

So exciting! Congratulations Kathy!

Paper Dolls for Boys said...

hahahaa, I just googled the Coop to try and find out this Saturday's book/activity and your blog came up. I saw your ornaments and realized that we were there. Sure enough as I scrolled down I saw us! Thanks, belatedly, for the reading and the fun activity. My son was very proud of his decoration (that he glued on a stick and made into a puppet)! Small world and all...