Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees, is the wonderful story of a giraffe who finds his own rhythm with the help of his little friend the cricket. What will happen at the Jungle Dance? We have put together some great resources to explore the story further. Take a look! Continue reading “Children’s Book of the Week: Giraffes Can’t Dance”
Errol loves growing plants at home – in fact, he is an awesome indoor gardener! We found five ways for kids to enjoy the story and to do some real and imaginary gardening. Continue reading “Children’s Book of the Week: Errol’s Garden by Gillian Hibbs”
Its Chelsea Flower Show this week, and here is Zvezdana again to share her hot air balloon craft activity. Continue reading “Chelsea in Bloom – Part Two”
On 23 May, join us in celebrating Elmer’s birthday. This year, Elmer is celebrating everyone’s true colours. Why not put on your favourite brightly coloured clothes and have a look at some of these wonderful Elmer resources? Continue reading “Children’s Book of the Week: Elmer”
Free Comic Book Day is an international celebration of all things comics – taking place on the first Saturday in May, it is a day where new titles are released and shops offer a giveaway of free issues – our libraries are taking part, courtesy of those lovely folks at Forbidden Planet
The day is perfect for both collector fanatics and those who are picking up a comic for the first time.
Kensal Library will be hosting a special event on the day – make your very own superhero mask. This will be at 3 to 4pm and it’s a free event for children of all ages.
Explore all this and more at one of our libraries and don’t forget to ask staff for your free comic book. We have three titles to give out, while stocks last – head on in before missing out. You’ll discover characters from the DC Universe including Superhero girls, Doctor Who, plus look out for the exclusive DC Nation!
Why not also check out the graphic novel selection? or the new release DVDs available while you are there and see what else your local Kensington and Chelsea library has to offer?
On Thursday 1 February 2018, Chelsea Library joined hundreds of other libraries and schools in celebrating a special Harry Potter Book Night: Fantastic Beasts at Chelsea Library. It was a challenge to organize such event on a Thursday, after school, when children have arranged activities, but we had a great turnout. Suddenly, we had several Harry Potters, Gryffindor girls, wand duelling in the biography section under the watchful eye of J.K. Rowling (and alerted parents), toddlers who wanted to join in (and got a chance to colour Hedwig). A fantastic start!
We prepared a selection of exciting activities to mark this unique event: from arts and crafts, quizzes and games, word searches, and our photo competition ‘Magical creatures and architecture’. Although the idea was to place Harry Potter enthusiastic fans into various Hogwarts houses, we soon gave up as most of them wanted to be with their friends in Gryffindor. They all got house stickers and, after the welcoming introduction, we began with the first activity: decorate your magical creature.
I sketched the outline of four magical creatures – dragon, phoenix, griffin and hippogriff – four groups of children around four tables, had a task to decorate in 30 minutes their beasts to win reward points. Colouring pencils, crayons, feathers, felt tips and all sorts of collage papers were available. The team work was exceptional; and the parents got involved as well! While me and my colleagues, Christian, Colette ran around checking their progress. With so much fantastic creativity and effort, it was a very difficult task to choose the winners.
Luckily, we were able to declare all four groups the winners since so many of the local shops and restaurants in the King’s Road – Habitat, Pizza Express, Tiger, Venchi and Waterstone’s– had generously donated prizes and Waitrose had donated food for the event. The library almost looked like Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes shop. What a joy! I felt great giving out the presents to cheering children.
These are the final masterpieces!
Lots of entries for our photo competition, ‘Magical creatures and architecture’ arrived two weeks before the closing date. I’ve noticed that many of us take for granted beautiful architecture we pass on our way to work, to school, to the local park etc. J. K. Rowling’s magical creatures – dragons, griffins, hippogriffs, snakes, witches, mermaids, fairies, nymphs, sphinx … well they can be seen everywhere in London. When Christopher Wren designed St Mary-le-Bow church in Cheapside, after the Great Fire of London, he probably did not have Harry Potter in mind. Nevertheless, on the tall church spire a huge dragon holds a golden sphere! If you haven’t seen it, go and check for yourself.
Four judges – Roberta, Liam, Silva and Shaun – came, seriously observed the photographs and decided that Tabitha’s entry was the best. Maximilian, Carla, Max, Arthur, Lorenzo, Marko, Mateo, Jacopo, Tristan, Jack, Fredie, Maya, Noeleen, Leon, Leonella, Mila and another Leon were other successful competitors. All the children, who were rewarded by points from out judges, received prizes.
It was time for a quick snack and to get ready for the master quiz. While some younger participants needed to move from ‘watching films’ to reading Harry Potter books, several children showed admirable knowledge. Colette was very impressed!
We finished the party by playing musical-magical-statues and had great fun.
There were more activities ready in my ‘sorting hat’, but we didn’t have enough time. Next time! Meanwhile, don’t forget:
“Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon.”
Zvezdana, Chelsea Library
Heavy snowfall in December led to scores of schools closing across the country, bringing Christmas holidays closer for some happy children. Snowy and icy conditions caused widespread travel disruption. Nevertheless, if you were lucky to be on Primrose Hill or in Hyde Park, while it was snowing, you probably had a wonderful time!
Our Christmas art and craft activities at Chelsea Library skilfully avoided snowy showers, plummeting temperatures and icy winds and offered a great fun to children and adults. We created Christmas decorations – baubles, wreaths, lolly stick decorations and paper-plate angels. In fact, we have two more sessions before Christmas – more info here.
Our guest from Belgrade, Ana Milovanovic, faced bigger problems than a few inches of snow and wasn’t able to be with us to run her Azbuka Puppets’ Workshop.
So, we created another activity – ‘Let it snow’. Snowflakes in numerous designs, shapes and sizes and named in a variety of languages generated quite a joyful snowstorm for our display. In two hours we had representatives of English, French, German, Serbian, Macedonian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese speakers. When at 4.20pm a bunch of new people arrived, they could not understand why we all cheered when I discovered that they were from Malta! Snow – or borra – is not a frequent occurrence in Malta, but it made a fantastic contribution to our display!
Naturally, whoever comes to Chelsea Children’s Library, has been asked to give their own input and make their language-snowflake. So, it continues to snow at Chelsea Library!
Christian, Marion and Zvezdana, Chelsea Library
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.
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.
Then everybody decorated and made some cool Cat in the Hat bookmarks.
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
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!
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.
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)!
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.