There were a few reasons that I wanted this project to appear in The Little Book Adventure:
1. This project was initially inspired by a book I came across last year while compiling a book list on books about books.
Surprise, inspired by a true story, is a feel-good book written by Karen Andrews and illustrated by Kim Fleming. It follows the experiences of four young children as they each borrow the same book from the library, one after the other. The first boy opens the book to find that someone has left a picture in it for him. He returns the gesture by leaving his own picture for the next reader and the chain continues. Each child reacts a little differently when they discover a picture in the library book, but they all have such positive reactions. I loved the random act of kindness represented in this book. If it sounds interesting, you can buy a copy here.
2. I’m sure that you will remember the cards that used to be stamped when we borrowed a book from the library. It helped to keep track of due dates and borrowers, but it was also symbolic of the book having a history and having been enjoyed by others before us. When I created these invitations for our Storybook Christmas Party, it brought back fond memories for the adults but the borrowing cards were foreign to the children.
Today, bar codes are scanned instead and, as borrowers, there is no longer evidence that a book has been borrowed before us (unless, of course, it has been ripped or drawn on). I thought that leaving a letter inside a book would be a great way for children to connect with other readers of the book.
3. I think we need to encourage children to talk about books and share their love of books with one another. This project gives them the opportunity to do that.
THE PROJECT: Spread your love for books (What’s involved?)
As part of this project we are asking you to:
- Borrow some books from your local or school library (and choose your favourite book from the selection)
- Download and print a copy of our letter head (or use your own stationery)
- Use the letterhead to write a letter to the next borrower of the book
- Slip the letter inside the pages of the book before you return it to the library
- The more children involved with this particular project, the more successful it will be (i.e. the more letters that are slipped inside books, the more chance your child will stumble across one). It will work especially well for schools and libraries. SO MAKE SURE YOU SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT PROJECT #2 AND GET ALL OF YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS INVOLVED.
- Librarians and teachers could print multiple copies of the letterhead and leave them by the borrowing desk to encourage borrowers to leave a letter inside their books for the next borrower.
HOW TO GET ALL KIDS INVOLVED
- You and your children have creative licence over what you include in your letter. Here are some ideas:
-Describe what you enjoyed about the book
-Describe your favourite part of the book or your favourite illustration
-Describe how you are similar to the book character
-Recommend another book that is similar to this one
- Older school-aged children who are capable of writing will be able to write the letter themselves.
- Younger school-aged children and pre-schoolers may be able to think of their own ideas but will need your help to write the letter
- Preschoolers, toddlers and babies can draw a picture instead of writing a letter.
- You don’t need to disclose your full personal details, but it would be nice to make the letter personal by writing your first name (or nickname) and age at the bottom of the letter
This challenge will officially end on April 30, 2012 and 10 participants will be selected to receive a Cocoon Couture Shoulder Bag . However, there is no reason that you should stop leaving messages inside the books you borrow.
Once you have left a letter inside a book, please leave a comment below and tell us which book you borrowed from the library. You are also welcome to share more information about how your children responded to this project.
Feel free to leave as many comments below as you like.
…and if you’re a new visitor to My Little Bookcase and you haven’t registered to be a part of The Little Book Adventure, you can do that here.
You might have your own blog and wish to write about how you and your family approached this challenge. Feel free to write about it in a post, publish it on your blog and link up here.
What is a library visit without a special library bag for carrying and protecting your borrowed books?
Cocoon Couture has provided My Little Bookcase with 10 shoulder bags to giveaway to participants of this project. These shoulder bags would be ideal for use as a library bag for your next library visit.
Cocoon Couture’s shoulder bags are the coolest bags in town, and they are just perfect for holding library books.
The shoulder bags are valued at $39.95. They are handcrafted from 11 oz. denim and feature fun applique critters and a 100% cotton novelty print lining.
Shoulder Bag Dimensions: 37cm x 34 cm/ Strap dimension: 70cm
You can see Cocoon Couture’s full bag range here.
Terms and conditions:
1. Readers may enter as many times as they like (by leaving a comment below this post)
2. This project is open for all readers to enter. However, My Little Bookcase cannot cover the cost of international delivery. International readers are welcome to enter, however they are asked to cover the delivery costs incurred if selected to receive a shoulder bag. Australian residents do not need to pay for delivery.
3. All entries must be received by midnight (AEST) on April 30, 2012 to be eligible
4. 10 individual participants will be randomly chosen to receive a Cocoon Couture Shoulder Bag.
5. The winner will be notified via email and will also be announced on www.mylittlebookcase.com.au, facebook and Twitter
6. The winner is asked to send a reply email with their delivery address and their preference for a Monkey or Robin shoulder bag (subject to availability).