Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Beautiful Books Bang for Bucks

"Of making many books there is no end..." King Solomon

This weekend I wandered the exhibit halls of a curriculum fair where much evidence abounded that "of making many books there is no end" has continued into the 21st Century (even though the digital book revolution is looming). Books, books, and more books everywhere you look. When you add 4,500 people to those books, even a bibliophile like me can be overwhelmed. (Do you like my new word from the English From the Roots Up book?)

In the midst of crowded aisles, I uncovered a treasure titled Making Books with Children by Valerie Bendt. (Check it out HERE). I went to her workshop, purchased two of her books and a set of DVDS. The book and DVD explain and show how to make a hard back book complete with jacket and hand-sewn pages. These will be even fancier than my own childhood treasures. The books she brought were amazing, even her three-year-old had made one!

I dug out a few titles I had written as a child: Cat and Mouse Adventures; Three Miles From Nilypoo; Me, as a Lightbulb; and Ducken and Draker's Adventures. (Sound familiar anyone?) We began analyzing story elements today with famous titles such as Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully, Cowboy Small by Lois Lensky, Big Red Barn by Margert Wise Brown. But the children most wanted to delve into the ones I had written. They gobbled up the stories and liked them. What a compliment from my voracious readers!

It is a tad humorous that I needed someone else to tell me to do this with my children -- a thing that I did naturally as a child. But now I know the educational benefits that of making books so we can spend the bulk of our school time on this (for a few weeks anyhow). This project makes us all enthusiastic about school. Sprinkle some sunshine into our day and we're beaming (even in spite of a nail puncture wound from the first born's many backyard building creations, a tetanus shot, and a child that almost fainted (the one watching, not the one receiving). )

If from curriculum fairs I always bring home a puzzle, a game, some art supplies, fun books to read and make, they'll soon be begging me to go away for four days, right?

Love, Kathleen

P. S. Today's A to Z Challenge Post was hosted by the Letter B hence the bolded Bs.


  1. Oh, I have one that would love to know how to make her own books. How cool. : )

  2. Steph, once we go through these materials I can loan them to you. It is a 6 week unit study. I was so impressed with the books she brought to show. Her children have done over 70 books! From 3 year olds to high school students, from simple to writing a 40 page book.

  3. Sounds like an interesting event. I'm sure that there are many things like this going on in Los Angeles, where I am-- I need to get out of the house sometimes.

    I am going to mention your blog in my post for Thurs 4/15
    Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

  4. Thanks Arlee. I have been having fun doing the blog challenge -- I am increasing my writing which is the point. Thanks for hosting it.

  5. I love books, this is a wonderful project! I am so glad you saved your work to share; How fun!

  6. Hi, found your blog searching for 'Lost Dogs' fans. Love the dogs! Going to see them in concert next month.

    Debby (Heavenly Humor)


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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