You know how films often end with the disclaimer “No animals were harmed in the making of this film“… well I’m afraid today ALA or CILIP won’t be granting me the same disclaimer for books in this post so look away now if you’re the sort of person who never marks a book, never folds a dog ear and would feel faint at the site of scissors ripping through a page…
Last Friday I reviewed Eleanor’s Secret, a film all about learning to read, a love of stories, and favourite storybook characters coming to life. It’s currently one of the kids’ favourite films, but it has also inspired lots of play and conversation – which characters do we wish could step out of their books to join us for a day, for a picnic, for a dance?
These conversations led to us watching all the animations from the post earlier this week and also in us making our own books with some favourite characters who could step out from the pages and join us in real life.
We decorated blank book boxes (ours came from online craft shop Baker Ross) but you could make your own book boxes if you had more time – here are tutorials from Wish Wish Wish (using a real book) and Design Sponge (making a blank from cardboard).
A Pretty Book is a great place for getting ideas for what beautiful books can look like!
Then the girls told me which characters they’d like to come alive from books they enjoy. M wanted Flower Fairies and the cast of the Alison Uttley books about Little Grey Rabbit to pop out of their books. J wanted the inhabitants of Richard Scarry’s Busytown to come to life. So next step was to visit a second hand bookshop and see if we could find an old copy of these books to magically bring to life.
“Magically bring to life” is perhaps slightly misleading as what we actually did is… cut the books up. We cut out the characters we liked, glued them on to cardboard, painted the back of the cardboard just to make things a little prettier, and then when all was dry we cut out our 3-D characters.
Little Grey Rabbit, the Geranium Fairy, the Cat Family and Mr Fixit were soon jumping out of the girls’ books and setting off on adventures of their own around our house and garden.
Music we enjoyed while bringing our characters to life included:
For more images of harmed yet beautiful books take a look at these:
So which camp are you in? Do your books remain pristine? Do your books get manhandled to death? Personally I like my books to show they’ve been read – I love finding little comments from previous readings, and dog ears remind me of earlier times of enjoyment. For me, signs of being handled and read show that the books have a life of their own. But what about you? How do you handle your books?