Is There a Library in the House?

There’s no place like home! Katie found this amazing abode in our special collections vaults, and we just had to share it. It was created by The Book House for Children, a company founded by Olive Beaupré Miller (née Olive Kennon Beaupré). Miller was an American writer, publisher and editor. Her company was industrious, publishing over thirty books in the 1920s and 1930s. It was also notable for its extensive female staff.

As you can see, this particular item houses nine books, and the quality of the illustration and print is remarkable. Just look at the end papers for Tales Told in Holland:

And here’s a lovely page from Little Pictures of Japan:

And just in case you thought the wooden house that shelves these various volumes wasn’t completely adorable, it appears the company released another version as well!

Image courtesy of robinseggbleunest


Collections images from The Bookhouse [realia]. Miller, Olive Beaupré. Chicago ; Toronto. The Bookhouse for Children. 1925-1935. Cotsen Children’s Library, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

Hop Along Li’l Bunny

Do you have a case of the wiggles this winter? So does this little bunny! Press down on its head to watch it hop and bobble. Originally spotted on Instagram as an octopus, we re-imagined the project as a rabbit…and all it takes is 2 paper cups and some poster board!

We recommend reading Hop Little Bunnies (Bloomsbury, 2020), written by Martha Mumford and illustrated by Laura Hughes (read here by Kids & Company). The little bunnies are sleeping until noon, but when they wake, they traipse through barnyard, waking the other animals until it’s a cacophony of cheeps, meows, quacks, and so forth. Full of animal sounds, this one is sure to get the audience reading along with you! And for the musically inclined, you can try the singing version on the publisher’s official channel.

You’ll need:

  • 2 papers cups
  • White paper for rabbit ears
  • 2 strips of 1″ x 13″ poster board
  • Scissors and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating

This project is essentially two cups stacked on top of one another with a paper spring in the middle. To begin, flip both cups upside down, then use markers to draw a face on the first cup. Add some paper ears (and an optional pom-pom nose if you desire!). Use scissors to cut bunny legs on the second cup.

Now for the paper spring! Take two, 1″ x 13″ strips of poster board and put them corner to corner at a 90 degree angle, like so…

Keeping the corners together, alternately fold each strip up towards you. Continue until the strips are completely folded into an accordion spring. Tape the end sections together for more stability.

Sometimes it’s easier to show then tell, so here’s Katie’s demonstrating her her awesome paper spring folding skills:


You can secure the spring to the bottom cup with tape or glue, or leave it loose for some extra wiggle. To finish, place the bunny head cup on top the body cup. Then press and release the bunny’s head to watch it bounce!

Original octopus project credit goes to strange_side_of_crafting on Instagram!

Tiny Library Challenge: The Final Chapter

Everyone loves a good trilogy. Except in this case. Because this is the final chapter in the trifeca of insanity otherwise known as miniature library kits (see parts I and II). But today it ends. Today, Katie is bringing it home with the Rolife 3D Creative Bookend: Sunshine Town. Our FINAL mini library kit (and possibly our favorite, honestly). Take it away, Katie!


To its credit, the Rolife 3D Creative Bookend: Sunshine Town (TGB02) looked seriously adorable online and, at quick glance, did not appear to be as complicated as Sam’s Study. Added bonus: it has TWO CATS that inhabit the cozy street scene!

Sunshine Town retails for around $45 on Amazon, though I’ve seen it on Etsy and Ebay for less. Like the other two Rolife kits we’ve tested, the suggested age range is 14+, which I completely agree with. Younger children will definitely need assistance manipulating the smaller bits and pieces, as well as tackling the lighting and battery box.

The instruction manual was similar to previous kits. One difference was the use of illustrations to indicate the specific actions I needed to take, such as what to glue together and where to paint. Speaking of paint, almost every step included painting one or more of the pieces white, which I skipped entirely after finishing the sign that greets you at the front of the display. I don’t think there’s much of a difference in appearance and, to be honest, it looks just fine unpainted.

There is a combination of wood and paper pieces to build together, and the provided glue stick has a small tip and works well. There were a few instances I did have to pause and allow extra time for parts to fully dry before moving on, but that was rare.

I was dreading the lighting display, but it was relatively straightforward and, dare I say it, remarkably easy to put together. Since this was not my first mini build rodeo, I knew exactly what to do when the instructions said to heat the “heat-shrink tube.” A lighter from home worked beautifully to melt and bend the little shaded light that illuminates the stairs in front of the coffee shop (a task I finished outside of the library walls, to ease the fears of any of my colleagues who may be reading!). All of the wires neatly tuck into a panel at the rear of the box.

The hardest task was to close the bookend with the final side wall. Making sure all of the connection tabs and the street parts were in the proper place to finish the build was a bit of a struggle.

My only other complaint is with the bookend being so deep and narrow, there are a few areas that are hard to see, even with the mirror to help reflect the back of the scene. The curved bay window in front of Carefree Books has a cute display inside that is difficult to enjoy, and you really have to search for the red mailbox on the building wall in the back (which looks similar to the mailbox we used at our Tintin movie event).

The touch pad to turn the lights on and off is really clever, and the two interior street lights along with the overhead pendant envelop the scene with an inviting warm glow.

As anticipated, Sunshine Town looks positively charming tucked on a shelf between copies of your favorite books. It’s my personal favorite of the three Rolife miniature kits we’ve tested. Because… cats! I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.


And thus ends our miniature library kit tests. They were tedious, delicate, maddening, and took waaaay to much time. But there are much worse games to play.