The Search for Gold: A Treasure Island Virtual Escape Room

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Avast mateys! The Dread Pirate Katie has developed a new virtual escape room. It begins with a discovery in the attic, and where does it lead? TREASURE me hearties!

Adventures awaits! Click here!


As a precautionary measure, Princeton University closed the gallery of the Cotsen Children’s Library until further notice, and our children’s programming as been suspended during this closure. Until our library reopens, the blog will post once a week. So every Tuesday, please check in to see what we’re up to…from story time projects to awesome interviews!

My Favorite Find

Yesterday’s holiday means a short post today. So! I thought I would share my absolute most favorite literary find, ever. Thems who knows me can confirm – I am a yard sale fanatic. I spot a yard sale arrow, the car comes to a screeching halt, and I execute a tidy little 3-point turn in a cloud of road dust. Why? Because I find treasures like the one you see above.

Yes, it may look like a four volume set of the “Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” but this is, in fact, a mini liquor cabinet, complete with a glass decanter for your brandy. HOW CRAZY COOL IS THAT???

I pounced on this many years ago. It cost me $5. Alas, the shot glasses that accompanied the set were missing from the get go, but my little motorized mouse has found a comfortable home there.

Note: I haven’t actually filled the bottle with brandy. Nor have I even tasted brandy (I know, right?). The running joke is that I’ll toast the publication of my first children’s novel with a big glassful of it. Someday…!

An Ape About Town

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New York City is the place to be, especially if you are an ape who has escape the Central Park Zoo and are determined to take in all the sights! He’s wearing a disguise and the master of hiding – can you find Marvin the Ape?

We read The Escape of Marvin the Ape by Caralyn and Mark Buehner (Dial Books, 1992). It’s feeding time, and Marvin makes his move. Leaving a baffled zookeeper behind, Marvin enthusiastically explores the subways, museums, restaurants, shops, and parks of New York City. He’s definitely not going back to his former life, and what’s more, Helvetica the Hippo is hot on the heels of his success!

You’ll need:

  • 1 large oatmeal container
  • Construction paper
  • 1 paper bowl
  • Scissors, glue, and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Hot glue

This is a simple project and a hide-and-seek game to boot! You can construct your oatmeal container ape entirely using construction paper, or you can add a few things like dot sticker eyes and a self-adhesive foam nose with dot sticker nostrils.

finished apeThe baseball cap is a trimmed paper bowl with a card stock (or construction paper) brim. We recommend using hot glue to attach the hat and the feet to the oatmeal container.

ape baseball hatThe baseball hat is just one optional for headgear of course. We basically gave the kids a bowl, a strip of white construction paper “shirt” and the Bling Bin and let them put together whatever ape disguise they wanted.Check out this feathery tiara and killer eye shadow!

fancy apeWhen everyone was done decorating, we played a game of Hot/Cold Hide-and-Seek. Kids hid their apes around our gallery and invited their grown-ups to find them. The kids gave hints if the grown-ups were getting “hot” or “cold.” Hiding games are always popular at our story times. One enthusiastic group played for over 15 minutes!

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