Good-bye for now

The time has come, Sam’s back from holiday and so my stay with you must come to an end. It’s been a great 10 days and I’ve had a lot of fun sharing books with you but also sharing all the old favourites with my family. Perhaps one day, I’ll be back to write some more, but in the meantime, I thought I’d leave you with this.

Not too long ago, Sam and I ran an afterschool club addressing different literacy topics with a group of children. During that term, I did a session on making books with the children and I thought I’d mention it here because it was so very rewarding. And being in the midst of summer holiday, it might give you some inspiration, or, at the very least, an activity to fill in some of those hours.

By nature, I like to make things so I am often doing arty/crafty type things with the children (and a few of the adults!) I know. When I had a chance to do something book orientated, I didn’t hesitate because it meant combining two of my passions. Here is one of the best resources I found.

When I googled “making books with children” to prepare for the lesson there were so many results. I picked one from the first page (it might’ve even been the first one!). It was a link to an author and book artist, Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord ( has some fantastic ideas and lots of free resources on this website and I didn’t go any further. I also bought several of her e-books which I use regularly.

I was looking for a way that the children could easily keep a record of the books they read. This was such an inspiring and easy solution that I had to pass it on. As you begin each new book, you take a square of paper, and write the name of the book, the author and the date you started reading. Fold it in half, and use it as a bookmark while you read. Once you’re finished, open up that square of paper, record when you finished reading and any interesting information about that book that you’d like to remember (how detailed you get is up to you!). Punch a whole in the corner and place it on a ring (we made our ring out of a pipe cleaner). The idea is that you will eventually have a ring full of little bookmarks with all the books you have read. What you do with your ring, well, that’s up to you. Here is Susan’s demo on YouTube.

The activity that filled the rest of that session was making books with the children. And this was particularly successful. So successful that I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before. First we made Susan’s Hot Dog Book (here she is demonstrating how to do that on YouTube ) and then we came up with various other ways to make books – tying them together, stapling, folding, using different kinds of paper.

What the children did with them when we were finished? Well, I don’t have an answer to that, but I like to think that one or two of the children went on to produce a good journal or a story or two in their handmade books last summer. And maybe, just maybe, one day we will see one of their masterpieces on a bookshelf somewhere!

Thanks for reading. Hope our paths cross again one day.




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