Novel Nursery Notions

bookmobile

bookmobileskinnyWhile adding a few items to my Target baby registry, I happened across an adorable picture of book mobiles—made from actual books—hanging over a glider. Etsy had some mobiles for sale, but they were rather pricey ($35, $45, even $60). I decided to DIY it instead. How hard could it be?! I used the advice of The Pleated Poppy and The Thimble Life and then went for it!

Since the color scheme of our nursery is grey, white, and yellow, I wanted some hardcover books that would match the room. I picked up three classic Nancy Drew novels at Half Price Books in town. I’m hoping the yellow color will pop against the grey walls. If you’re interested in how I created my mobiles, check out the following steps, or click the links to the blogs I mentioned above. Both blogs include helpful pictures for each step.

Materials You’ll Need

– A hardcover book you can bear to dismantle

– An X-Acto knife

– Hot glue gun and glue sticks

– Fishing line and a hook for hanging

– Optional: fabric or paper to cover outside or inside of book if it isn’t pretty!

Steps to Follow

1. Using an X-Acto knife, slice pages along the inside book seam and remove the first third of the pages.

2. Flip the book over and remove the last third of pages from the back of the book.

3. With the remaining pages in the middle, loop the pages into five sections. This will give the mobile its shape and keep the cover from being too floppy. Use the hot glue gun to keep everything in place.

4. Now that you have a stack of pages, create different sized loops, hot-gluing them closed. You can even glue pages together to create bigger loops.

5. Tuck the loops into the five looped sections in the book and build on to the shape. Hold up the book every so often to check the shape and length of your mobile.

6. When you’re happy with the shape, string fishing line through the center loop and hang from the book’s spine. Hang several at different heights for a dramatic look.

Childhood Reads

childhood_readsI have been working at a tutoring center for about six months, and I’m constantly amazed at how our brains work. How do we ever learn to speak? And to read? And why is it so easy for some people and a challenge for others? Somehow we learn that vowels make long sounds and short sounds. When put in different combinations with consonants, there are different patterns and rules for pronouncing words. Did I really understand that if an “e” is at the end of a four letter word with the CVCV pattern, than the first vowel becomes a long vowel? I barely understand it now, so how did I know that when I was five years old?! It’s pretty extraordinary what we’re capable of learning. I decided to sit down and take a look at my own reading development.

Looking back, I know that my parents were instrumental in my education. We had books at our house and I know that my mom read to me on our tan-colored, corduroy sofa (she even did voices). I have a Raggedy Ann & Andy book with the corner chewed off because this was apparently my favorite book as a toddler! We had a copy of the classic Pat the Bunny, board books, and picture books. I also had plenty of relatives who were book lovers, so I was frequently gifted books and encouraged to read. In kindergarten, I recall taking home the plastic bags with handles that held books inside them. By the time I was in first grade, I knew that I was a good reader. I remember being in the high-level reading group in school—I’m sure the teacher played this off as randomly selected groups, but we knew we were the strongest readers in the class.

My next reading memory comes a few years later. In fourth grade, our class did a Laura Ingalls Wilder unit. The class was going to read the first book in the Little House on the Prairie series, Little House in the Big Woods, but I had already read the entire nine-book collection of novels. This meant I went on to read The Rocky Ridge Years books, which continue to follow Laura, Almanzo, and their daughter Rose. Christmas and birthday gifts often consisted of gift cards to bookstores. Visiting Barnes & Noble was a special treat for me, and my parents always let me pick out a book or two when we were in a town with a B&N. We also frequently utilized our local library, where I checked out lots of Nancy Drew books. I still have my first library card where my mom wrote my name on the back since I was so little.

After thinking about my reading history a bit more, I decided to create a list of books that were important in my life and growth as a reader from the time I was in elementary school all the way up through college. I tried my best to select the ages I read certain books, although my memories of reading in elementary school are a bit hazy.

booksbyage

Now I pose the question to you: How did you learn to read? What books, authors, and series were instrumental in your growth as a person and reader? Can you relate to the list of books I compiled?

Entry #18 – Literary Best Friend:

bookbesties

Entry #18 – Literary best friend:  If you could choose any character for a bestie, who would it be? Feel free to expand on why – share a relevant quote, list attributes, whatever floats your boat. Or just give a name, it’s entirely up to you!

At my bachelorette party three years ago, my sister told me my friends were weird.  Not in the sense that they were strange people, but in the sense that this group of girls wouldn’t typically hang out together.  I’ve always had an eclectic group of friends—sort of like a different group of friends for the different activities that I enjoy.  There were my high school friends for doing crazy things like dressing up one another in goofy outfits at Walmart, there were my quiet college roommates who enjoyed watching Grey’s Anatomy every Thursday night, and there were my dance team friends who were always up for a good time and loved dancing just as much as I did.  I could shift between these groups of friends and do all the things I wanted to do.  So when it comes to choosing a best friend from a book, I came up with an eclectic group of characters.

Here are some characters I’ve picked as possible besties, and the qualities I admire them for:

  • Katniss, Katsa, Tris, Cassia: brave, strong, adventurous, rebellious, risk takers
  • Nancy Drew: logical, intelligent…and drives a cool convertible!
  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants girls: accept & celebrate one another’s differences
  • Harry, Ron, Hermione from Harry Potter: brave, adventurous, rebellious, magical, loyal
  • Ponyboy & Cherry from The Outsiders: honest, loyal to their friends
  • Benvolio from Romeo & Juliet: good listener, thoughtful decision maker (unlike that Romeo guy!)
  • Bitterblue from Bitterblue: homebody who craves adventure, learns to be a better leader
  • Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries: relatable, normal teen girl (klutzy & awkward like me!)

Who would you choose as a literary best friend?