Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Behind the Scenes in Storybook Land

Tonight our local public library family storytime featured stories about Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester with a special guest appearance by Tacky! Preschoolers, moms, dads, babes in arms, grandmas, grandpas, sisters--all wanted to meet Tacky.

You have probably seen costumed characters, but do you know what goes on behind the scenes? I got to help "Tacky" dress, another talent to add to my resume. Tacky and I were in the tiny supply room, maneuvering among the costume parts. The main body is attached to something like a hula hoop. Over that went Tacky's clothes--a flowery pinafore-like thing with a purple bow in front. To tell the truth, since the snaps and hooks were on the same side as the bow, we started out with that in back, but corrected it. The bow and snaps go in front! Next came the black, furry flippers that velcroed into the pinafore arms. Tacky & I got close & comfortable during these steps! Then Tacky stepped into her webbed feet, one at a time. It didn't work. Then I noticed that inside the foot was an actual laced shoe with a toggle closure. On the second try, we got it right and secured the feet to the costume with velcro. (This was industrial strength velcro, too!) Finally, the head. We wanted to wait until the last minute so Tacky wouldn't get claustrophobic or have heat stroke. These costumes are hot! At the end of the storytime story, I led Tacky out to greet the kids. She waved and waddled over to her chair, where she received hand/flippershakes, hugs, and stares. No child was afraid of Tacky, as sometimes happens with costumed characters. They took turns and stood in amazement at the creature before them. About that time, I realized that the piece on the back of the head should have been tucked UNDER the pinafore. The kids didn't notice, so all was well. But maybe I shouldn't put costumed character dressing on my resume after all.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Joy of Reading

Here's a link to an article from the Telegraph, a UK newspaper, about the joy of reading and how it can become drudgery when children get to school.


The author also lists 100 books every child should read. What books would be on your list?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Investigate, experiment, have fun

My friend/walking partner/artist/writer, Linda, http://theroguepainter.blogspot.com/ is a daredevil when it comes to trying new stuff on the computer. Better yet, she encourages me to jump in and try it, too. She finds all kinds of great tips & tricks from searching to editing to promoting one's work and is excited and selfless enough to share. Sometimes she is a downright nag about it! That's something I like about her. So get out there in cyberspace and try something new!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Or SING, Learn, and be Happy

My friend, Eric Ode, works seven days a week during the summer, but he says it feels more like play. http://www.ericode.com/ He leads preschool children in original songs and actions at Remlinger Farms in Carnation WA http://www.remlingerfarms.com/. The rest of the year, he leads kids and kids at heart in songs and poetry at schools, libraries, and churches. Somewhere in there, he finds time to write, and cut award-winning CDs and DVD. He exudes enthusiasm and proves that if you find work you love, it's not really work.