Book Title Mash Up

Does your taste in books vary wildly? No problem, just combine them! We designed this book title mashup activity as an ice breaker for Cotsen Critix, our literary society for kids ages 9-12. It was inspired by the hilarious Very Condensed Book postcards designed by Hilary Brown Greetings.

The kids had a fantastic timer recounting titles and mixing them up, as well as talking to each other about the books they love. Here’s our favorite dozen…

Are you my Mother, Harry Potter?
The Twilight Games
We the Big Idea Math People
Beauty and the Deathly Hallows
Warriors on the Prairie
Snow White and the Titan’s Curse
Under the Holes
A Wind in the Wardrobe
Go BFG Go!
Where the Sidewalk Ends Wild Things Are
If You Give a Mouse a Chocolate Factory
The Confessions of Charlotte’s Web

Wait ‘Til the Midnight Hour

It may be midnight, but there’s always time to explore this awesome little 2D library, and possibly discover a hidden letter or two!

We recommend reading The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara (Roaring Book Press, 2014, read here by the Ingleside Public Library). Welcome to a very special library: it’s only open from midnight to dawn! The little librarian, along with her three assistant owls, work together in the dark and help the forest animals find a place to play music, read the perfect story time book, and even sign up for a library card!

You’ll need:

  • 1 midnight library template, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ paper
  • 1 clear piece of 8.5″ x 11″ plastic (more on this below!)
  • Sharpie permanent marker
  • 1 piece of black construction paper
  • One flashlight template, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ card stock
  • Scissors for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Optional: fine tip dry erase marker

Begin by printing the midnight library template. Then, place a piece of plastic on top of the template and trace it using a Sharpie permanent marker. We used archival mylar, but you can also use the clear cellophane rolls you find in the gift basket section of your local craft store!

Replace the paper library template with a piece of black construction paper. Tape the corners of the black construction paper to a tabletop, then tape the corners of the plastic to the tabletop as well. Really to explore the library? Slide the flashlight’s light beam between the construction paper and plastic to “illuminate” the scene!

Want to take the project up a notch? Use a fine tip dry erase marker on the plastic to “hide” letters in the library, and ask your young readers to locate them. Once all the letters have been discovered, you can erase them and start anew! You can make the letters random, or ask kids to string together various words and/or messages. For example, I’ve hidden the word “hello” on this shelf…can you find it?

Tigers on Tiptoe

Can you tiptoe your tiger through the forest without making a sound?

We recommend reading The Tiptoeing Tiger by Philippa Leathers (Candlewick Press, 2018, read here by DaddyRead2Me). When Tiger prowls the forest, the other animals NOTICE and move away. But not Little Tiger. No one is afraid of him in the slightest! So he contrives to sneakily tiptoe around the forest until he thoroughly terrifies someone. It doesn’t work with Boar, Elephant, or the monkeys…but Little Tiger might have met his match at the pond!

You’ll need:

  • 1 small oatmeal container
  • Construction paper and/or poster board
  • 2 brass fasteners
  • 2 craft sticks, approximately 3″ long
  • Scissors, tape, and box cutter for construction
  • Markers for decorating

Begin by decorating a small oatmeal container like a tiger. For added texture, we used a pair of wiggle eyes, a bit of self-adhesive foam for the nose, and twisteez wire whiskers, but you can also just use markers to add these features. The dynamic part of the project comes when you add the moveable back legs!

Use a box cutter to make small slices in the oatmeal container, then attach the tiger’s back legs to the body using brass fasteners. Next, attach two, 3″ long craft sticks to the legs, leaving plenty of room for you to grasp the sticks. To operate, move the sticks up and down while gently sliding the oatmeal container forward, and you have yourself a splendid tiptoeing tiger!