Books, Baby, Books

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monkey see, monkey do.  A few weeks ago my four-year-old son fussed that I was going to book club and not bringing him along.  I countered with offering to put together a book club for him and his friends.  Next thing I knew nine kids were sitting on my playroom floor chatting about Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman.  The kids were aged 2 (my daughter, who was too young, but not about to be left out) to 6.   They were invited to come in a costume inspired by the book, and to my delight we had a ghost, a mummy, and a witch arrive.

Our afternoon started with a 15-minute discussion.  Here’s what we talked about: 
  1. Was this book real?  Did this really happen?  How do you know?  Are monsters real?
  2. What did you like about the book?
  3. How many of you have been to a pumpkin patch?  What was it like?  Have any of you planted a pumpkin?  What did you do?
  4. What can you do with a pumpkin?  What did they do in the book?  Have any of you ever eaten pumpkin pie?  Did you like it?
  5. If you could change something about the book what would you change?  Note:  The kids did not understand this question.
  6. What happened when one monster tried to pick the pumpkin? What was the solution?  How many of you have ever been on a team?  Tell me about it.
  7. What is a character?  Which character was your favorite?  Let’s hear everyone laugh like a witch.  Now let’s sound like ghosts.  Can anyone pretend to be a vampire?  How about a mummy?  How about a bat?

We followed that with a cute pumpkin craft. The crafting was a bit of disaster because I didn’t realize that if you wind the yarn too tightly around the folded cardboard, then you can’t feed in the pipe cleaner.   Oh well, lesson learned.  Still, the pumpkins were pretty cute and the kids seemed to dig them.

After craft time we played ring around the pumpkin (or stand at a line and try to throw a hula hoop over a pumpkin).  Each kid got to throw until they succeeded and won a chocolate lollipop for their efforts (which by the way are cute and super easy to make).

We finished book club with a snack—pumpkin pie (I cheated and bought a frozen one), pumpkin ice cream, and apple juice.  Many of the kids had never had pumpkin pie before and discovered they loved it.  The ice cream—not such a kid hit, though the parents enjoyed it.

I loved having a celebration of reading with my children and their friends.  I can’t wait until next time.  If you have suggestions for other books for our book club, send me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you.

Don’t forget to check out my book review of Big Pumpkin on Amazon.