Saturday Story & Craft at Kensal Library

Shamrock faces for St Patrick's Day 2017 at Kensal LibraryAt our regular story and craft session we made these cute shamrock faces to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

We started with a template of a shamrock printed onto green paper and drew on a face and added googly eyes.  Next we put a small amount of tissue paper and then stuck on the other side of the shamrock to make it puffy and finally tied a piece of ribbon around the stalk.

Hope you all had a great St Patrick’s Day!

Our next Story & Craft will be on Saturday 8 April.

[Natasha]

Dr Seuss Day at Kensal Library

We celebrated the wonderful world of Dr Seuss on Thursday 2 March which was also World Book Day so we had some children wearing great costumes in the library.  There was a ladybird from ‘What the ladybird heard’, Catwoman, Woody from Toy Story, a spy, Spiderman and later we were joined by The Woman in Black!

Our first craft was making a mini version of the Cat in the Hat’s hat.  Look at how cute they turned out!

Next we made The Lorax’s face from polystyrene balls cut in half which we coloured orange and stuck on eyebrows and a moustache made from yellow felt, googly eyes and a sweet mini pom pom nose.

Dr Seuss activity at Kensal Library, March 2017

Then everybody decorated and made some cool Cat in the Hat bookmarks.

Dr Seuss activity at Kensal Library, March 2017

Dr Seuss would have been 113 years old on the 2 March 2017! His books are still immensely popular and his quotes continue to inspire.

Below are a few of my favourite Dr Seuss quotes:

‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’
I Can Read with My Eyes Shut

  “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
Oh, the Places You’ll Go

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
– The Lorax

Hope you all had a great World Book Day.

Natasha Chaoui, SCSA, Kensal Library

Making monsters & more with Jessica Spanyol

Creativity was in abundance at an event in Kensington Central Children’s Library  last Friday, when author and illustrator Jessica Spanyol visited to inspire some eager young artists. Jessica began by reading some of her picture books and talking about how characters take shape in her imagination. She introduced us to Clive, the hero of her new series of colourful books, and also read us the story of Carlos the giraffe’s exciting first ever visit to the library – a story she said she first wrote and illustrated when she was six, proving it’s never too early to start!

carlo

Next, sheets of paper with abstract shapes printed on them in different colours provided an amazingly fruitful starting point for the budding illustrators. Have you ever played the game where someone does a random scribble or doodle, and someone else has to make it into a recognisable thing? Or looked up at the clouds and seen the shapes of animals? This worked in the same way, and it didn’t take long before seemingly random shapes had become a range of amazing creatures. These newly-invented characters were embellished with collage made from lots of coloured paper, stick-on googly eyes and enthusiastic colouring-in. It was amazing how different people could transform the same shape in completely different ways.

spanyol2
spanyol1
Jessica gave some great advice about creating characters for stories, which should come in useful for all aspiring authors: try starting with a picture, and building the words around it, instead of the other way around – and think of a name for your character (which might be based on someone you know in real life – Jessica confided that “Moshi cat” in the Clive books is named after her own cat, Moshi)!

spanyol3

All in all this was a really enjoyable event and I was so impressed with the beautiful creatures – and some quite scary monsters! – the children produced.

We’ve got some more crafty events coming up soon with Eithne Farry: take a look at the libraries website for dates and times.

Claudia Jessop

Lots happening at Kensal Library this month

Go Golborne

Go Golborne returned to Kensal Library on Tuesday 23 February for more fun, fruit, dancing and Handa.  The children were treated to a retelling of Handa’s Surprise and learnt all about the benefits of healthy eating with some delicious fruit kebabs.

Go Golbourne 2

Beautiful colourful bracelets were created and as one parent said:

“The jewellery making brought everyone together”.

Go Golbourne Braclets

In the February half term we celebrated the day when Teddy bears first went on sale, 15 February 1903 by making our own felt bears.  A lot of cutting, sticking and decorating later and there were some wonderful bears.  I managed to grab a photo of some of the bears before they all left to go to a picnic apparently!

Go Golbourne Crafts

We have loads of books in our library on bracelet making, these are just a few examples:

Our Easter story & craft will be on Monday 4 April from 3pm to 4pm.  We look forward to seeing you then.

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Spring Crafts

Spring was definitely in the air at Kensal Library on Saturday 12 March at our Story & craft session.
We made beautiful pinwheel daffodils.

Daffadils for spring

After much bending, stapling and sticking the children made some very pretty, colourful flowers.
It was a gorgeous sunny day and the daffodils really brightened up the library. Smaller versions will be made, to use on our spring display.

If you are free this Easter and want to do some paper crafts yourself or with children, we have loads of ideas in our libraries. Please see the search list for items and the examples below.

The next Story & craft session at Kensal Library, will be on Saturday 9 April.

 

 

Harry Potter, Magical Creatures and Architecture competition

Motivated by Harry Potter’s world of magic, history, fantastic architecture, myths and legends, we invited our customers to search for magical creatures, animals, gargoyles, saints, caryatids and crests on various buildings and monuments in London and take photographs.

Since London has astonishing architectural features in abundance, to find lions, dragons or witches and nymphs, fairies and angels, would not be a difficult task.

My aim was to focus on and celebrate historic London architecture.

Harry Potter Library Display, North Kensington
Harry Potter Library Display, North Kensington

The collage poster featured some iconic London buildings and monuments. I approached these establishments and asked whether they could donate one prize for best entries of the competition.

I was delighted when St Pancras Renaissance Hotel replied.  Miss Madeleine Duxbury, from St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, shared on Twitter our photo competition and awarded nine-year-old Marko Popovic’s entry with a meal for two in their MI + ME restaurant.

MI+ME Restaurant, Kings Cross, St Pancras
MI+ME Restaurant, Kings Cross, St Pancras

MI+ME is housed on the Upper Terrace of St Pancras, overlooking the Eurostar trains and next to Paul Day’s sculpture ‘The Meeting Place’. Unlike on the Hogwarts Express, where you can buy all sorts of magical sweets, leaping chocolate frogs and pastries, in the Victorian era the trains had Milk and Meat carriages, to which MI + ME’s name pays homage, mirroring the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London’s railway heritage.

St Pancras Station, Renaissance Hotel, London
St Pancras Station, Renaissance Hotel, London

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel with its Neo-Gothic architecture, lions, snakes, dragons and various other magical creatures featured significantly in the photo competition ‘Magical Creatures and Architecture’. This magnificent building brings Harry Potter books and films to life. Klaudija Cermak , our special guest  and a real wizard of digital effects in two Harry Potter films, helped us to choose the winner of the competition.

 

by Zvezdana Popovic,
Senior Customer Services Assistant, North Kensington Library

Christmas at Notting Hill Gate Library

Laila and SantaDuring this Christmas festive season, we wanted to celebrate the occasion in a way that it has never been done at the library. We had a very special visitor from the North Pole. Can you guess who it is? You’ve guessed right, it was Santa! The afternoon brought both children and parents together to listen to Santa’s extraordinary story.

Reading at Christmas
Reading at Christmas

The story was so inspirational that it got us into the Christmas spirit, so we started to make Christmas cards for our friends and family. The library looked like we were in Santa’s house because the children got so excited with the glitter and it ended up everywhere. But never mind that, we all had such a fantastic time.

Making Christmas Cards
Making Christmas Cards

 

Olaf the Snowman, Book tower
Olaf the Snowman, Book tower

To mark the end of the activity, Santa brought us early presents. They were cupcakes, cupcakes that were generously donated to us by The Hummingbird Bakery. They were scrumptiously tasty! As one of the little ones put it, ‘They were the best cupcakes ever!’

 

Christmas Cupcakes from the Humming Bird Bakery
Christmas Cupcakes from the Humming Bird Bakery

Humming Bird Bakery

 

As 2015 has ended, we would like to thank everyone who has supported us. We look forward to entering 2016 with a prosperous year and to begin we will have a New Year storytelling with Sarah Deco on Saturday 16th January 2016, 2:30 to 4pm.

Donated Christmas trees by The Friends of Notting Hill Gate
Donated Christmas trees by The Friends of Notting Hill Gate

Notting Hill Gate Library welcomes all readers, existing or new so don’t forget to pop in and be a part of this exciting experience!
By Laila El-Boukilli
Senior Customer Services Assistant at Notting Hill Gate Library.

Notting Hill Gate November

This month Notting Hill Gate Library has been very engaged in new activities, such as having our first ever Story Time session. We read a range of books and even had a dance when reading “Were Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen.

Chosing what to read

Our second Story and Craft session took place on Saturday 21st November. The library was transformed into every child’s dream, where everyone had the chance to become a superhero. It went with a BOOM and a BANG!

Snow visited us with a cold start to the day, however this did not stop our brave, dedicated superheroes! They forgot their masks so we made them by using all sorts of materials and quickly put them on to hide their identities from the world.

Making masks

As you can see in the picture they were all unique designs, some were inspired by their iconic superheroes for instance ‘The Incredibles’.

Everyone doing their superhero poses

Everyone doing their superhero poses

As in all parties, we celebrated by marking the event in our Superhero Photo booth of the bold Batman and dazzling Wonder Woman. The superheroes were smiling from ear to ear, exciting stuff!

Parents were supportive of their mini superheroes by generously donating fruits, which the children used to create their own superhero faces. Two of the children did not know what a Pomegranate was, but once they had tasted the delicious fruit, they were hooked.

Creating superhero fruit faces

 The day was saved when all our mini-superheroes came to the rescue by using their powers to help tidy the children’s library. It was a hard days work!

Laila El-Boukilli,
Senior Customer Services Assistant, writes:

Walking in the Rain at North Kensington Library

Inspired by J Opie
Julian Opie’s ‘Walking in the Rain’

 

Art & Craft activities have been my passion. So, you can imagine my excitement and happiness when more than 20 children and adults came for the Half-term session and enjoyed the activity inspired by Julian Opie’s iconic paintings “Walking in the rain”. I have to admit that I anxiously wondered where we would squeeze all these creative art-loving-visitors. Well, they were everywhere. And several groups stayed the whole afternoon.

Samarah 11, Selma 7, Mariam 6 and Adam 3.
Samarah 11, Selma 7, Mariam 6 and Adam 3. Arts and Craft at North Kensington Library, inspired by ‘Walking in the Rain’

 

It was a Rainy Day, but I did not sing: “Rain, rain go away, Come again another day”.

No, we were all actually pleased that it was raining.

Several days before and after the session whoever came to the library wanted to contribute to our display. The final result was so fa-bu-lo-us that I had to contact Julian Opie and invite him to see our master-piece. And he replied! He liked it!

“Dear Zvezdana Popovic
Wow – that looks great – I’ll try to pop in if I am passing.
All the best
Julian”

On 21st November we had another Art & Craft activity linked with the display. We looked at movement and storytelling on Parthenon frieze and on Bayeux Tapestry.

Unfortunately, the artist, Julian Opie, did not come.

Having said that, he was present – with his self-portrait and his text-message on our display.

By Zvezdana Popovic
Customer Service Assistant, North Kensington library

Notting Hill Gate’s Halloween Story and Craft Event

Notting Hill Gate Library had a busy October this year, which included our Halloween display and the first Halloween Story and Craft Event on Saturday 24th October. This was a great opportunity for the children to dress up as their favourite characters and celebrate the holiday. The turn out was great and the afternoon was memorable. However, this could not have happened without the help and support from both parents and our kind volunteer Karima, who is a Primary School Teacher.

Mariam dressed as a witch
Mariam dressed as a witch

We began the afternoon with a scary story called Spooky House by Roger Priddy, in which we all participated in the reading together. After this, with the help of Karima’s teaching experience, we explained health and safety measures to the children.

Laila reading spooky story
Laila reading spooky story

With limited space in the Library, sitting on the floor worked to our advantage as it brought everyone together. The children were hooked in the making of their spider webs and loved the challenge when weaving the wool. After this, we had played a game of pass-the-parcel which engaged everyone’s attention, including the parents who also joined in.

Showing their presents
Showing their presents

To promote healthy eating, we created our very own pumpkins from oranges (the pumpkin’s body) and celery (the pumpkin’s stalk). In addition to this, we also made ghosts from bananas and raisins were used for the eyes. It proved to be a success.

Showing our spooky food
The children holding their pumpkin oranges and banana ghosts

At the end of the day everyone was sad the afternoon was over, but were cheered as each were given Halloween goody bags filled with raisins and a Halloween activity booklet.

To encourage reading I asked parents to take out a book for each child from the display, in which I had drawn inspiration from The Wizard of Oz. We all know how inspirational books can be and as it has been said ‘Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!’

Come along and join us for our next Story and Craft event on Saturday 21st November 2015 but please book early to avoid disappointment!

NHG Halloween Display
NHG Halloween Display