Monthly Archives: July 2011

Harry Potter Crafts from HP Club

Here are a few crafts we did for the Harry Potter Club – I meant to put these up earlier! These ideas were borrowed from several different sites and altered to fit the age level or materials available. Most (if not all) were created in 5 minutes or less because I tend to forget the monthly meeting of the Harry Potter Club.

In fact, I just realized our next monthly meeting is tomorrow. *sigh*

Oh well. At least I realized it the day before.

Book of Spells

Book of Spells (1)

This was a sample I did – very simple – I made it about 5 minutes before we started!  Just a cheap notebook (not spiral) and construction paper. Cut to size and glue the paper onto the cover (I used a glue gun to save time but the kids used elmers or tacky glue.) Then just decorate! I also printed out a list of all the spells from the book that I found online for the kids to put in their book.

example of a cover made by a club member

Another cover

and another....


Quidditch Broom Pencil

    Quidditch Broom Pencil

Materials:  pencil, pipe cleaners (I used dark & light brown), brown raffia, scissors and double-sided tape.

~Cut a thin strip of tape and attach one end to the eraser end of the pencil. Take the raffia and stick to the strip of tape, then wind it around the pencil so the eraser is no longer visible. Take the dark brown pipe cleaner and wrap around the raffia just above where the eraser ends and secure. I added the light brown pipe cleaner as an afterthought as the foot-holds for the quidditch brooms (this was originally just a “broom” pencil). Use the scissors to trim the raffia (mine is a bit on the wild-side!)

Golden Snitch Magnet

Golden Snitch Magnet (front)

Golden Snitch Magnet (back)

Materials: Craft foam or cardboard, thin white pipe cleaners, gold tissue paper, gold glitter glue, scissors, glue gun, tacky or elmers glue, magnet.

I think I used craft foam for the circle (cut with the die cut machine) but you could use cardboard too. And the size doesn’t really matter – this is about 2 inches in diameter, give or take. Take the circle and trace it on the gold tissue paper. Fold and cut so you have two that are the same size. (If you are cutting before-hand, my trick for cutting out multiple pieces at once is to staple the paper in several places so it doesn’t move while you are cutting..) Glue one gold tissue circle to one side of your foam circle. Turn over. Cut to size and bend the white pipe cleaners for the wings. I used the glue gun to glue the points of the wings to the center of the back of the foam circle. Then I glued on the second gold tissue circle. Then I used the glue gun again for the magnet (because it’s heavy and would take too long to dry with other glue.) Then I turned it over and used gold glitter glue to make a swirly pattern on the smooth front side. Voila! This was also a borrowed and altered craft 🙂

Harry’s Pouch (from the last book)

Harry's secret pouch (from Hagrid)

Hagrid gives Harry a pouch that only he (Harry) can retrieve items out of. I think this is right. Or I just made it up. Will have to look it up. Anyways, this was kind of a last-minute craft (as per usual I totally forgot I had HP club that day!) So this isn’t the best-looking craft ever. This is made out of some pretty heavy felt and some gold ribbon-ish stuff (not sure what you call it, but you craftier people know what I mean.) I basically cut a big circle, used a hole-punch to cut holes every inch or so (which wasn’t that easy, since the felt was so thick) and then weaved the gold ribbon through the holes and pulled it tight to make a pouch. I wrapped the gold ribbon around the outside for the picture so it would look prettier 🙂 With more time and planning and better materials, this could be much better. With older kids (mine are about 7-12), you could do this as a simple sewing craft.

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Filed under Children's, Crafts, Harry Potter Club, Library, Tweens, YA Books

How To Avoid Huge Ships

So this has nothing to do with anything, but when I read the “reviews” of this book, I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. I could barely read them aloud to my husband!

I’m sharing this link via Lee Wind, who posted it on Facebook today. Thank you, Lee! This made my day 🙂

(Click on the book cover for the full article from Publisher’s Weekly.)


The Worst Book Ever is ‘How to Avoid Huge Ships’

Gabe Habash — July 21st, 2011

View article….

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Pearl Giveaways!

All you have to do is post a comment to enter to win a copy of Jo’s new book Pearl!

1. First Page Panda (bonus: read the first page!)

2. Angela C. Hansen: Author Interview w/ Jo Knowles


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Entering Edgartown….

Like many book-ish people, I love independent bookstores. Sadly, these are an endangered species in the book world. There isn’t one close to me that I am aware of, and if I am going to buy a book, I am forced to go to the Big Bad Barnes and Noble. With their evil Starbucks-brewed coffee that tempts me every time! Bad Conglomerate, BAD!

OK, so obviously this is not as painful as it should be. Especially since I LOVE Starbucks coffee. But I guess that’s the point. They are more convenient and able to offer things that the independents can’t.

One of the things I love the most about summer is that I get to spend time on Martha’s Vineyard. I have been going there for years and I know so many of its fantastic places. I know the best iced mocha (Mocha Motts), the best blueberry scones (Espresso Love), the best stores (Black Dog tops the list!), the best coffee-oreo ice cream (Vineyard Scoops) and the best Thanksgiving sandwich (Humphreys.) And so as a Librarian and a lover of books, I of course know the best independent book store, though some may argue with me over this one: Edgartown Books.

Located in downtown Edgartown, this cute bookstore is one of my favorite places to visit while on vacation. And I usually always buy a book here as a matter of habit. Their staff is always friendly, even when dealing with silly tourists. The building is older and has a great front porch to sit on and read or eat ice cream while waiting for friends or family in some store or other. When you first walk in, the stairway greets you with its painted steps, just begging to be climbed. I always head up there, since that’s where the YA books are! The whole place just has this great feel to it. It gives you the feeling that there is a book hiding somewhere on a shelf that will be the best book you’ve ever read. It makes you want to find that perfect beach book because, let’s face it, it’s the reading part that excites you more than the sand and water part! (at least, it is for me.) It has a cute little children’s nook with some great books – as many Island-themed books as can fit and some other classics. It’s just a great store. And I think I like it better in this newer location than the old – which was only a few buildings down the street a ways. Oh, and one of my favorite things about this store? When you buy a book, they put in a paper bookmark with their information on it, as well as a new book quote by someone famous every year. I have begun using them in my email signature for my work email and change it every year to the new one. Also, I use the bookmark all year until I go again and get a new one. Yup, I’m a dork.

Some might argue that Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven is the best independent book store on the island. It’s definitely bigger and I’m sure it has a bigger selection. But for me, it’s the atmosphere that makes Edgartown Books my favorite. Both of these stores are lucky enough to have a high volume of tourist traffic in the summer months. As a matter of fact, I am heading there this weekend – hopefully with my husband and Sasha (our Bernese Mountain Dog) to spend a night or 2. But I am also on secret library business….

Any independent bookstores in the Worcester area I should know about? I miss Tatnuck Booksellers in Worcester!


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Excited to Read…..Pearl by Jo Knowles

I am SOOOOO excited to read this book by my favorite writing professor!! Jo is an incredible writer, teacher and human being. Congrats, Jo, on your third book release! If this is anything like Lessons from a Dead Girl & Jumping Off Swings, I am in for a treat. Check out all the fabulous reviews so far! Hoping to get a review copy of the next one to review here….. 🙂  I am just bummed I can’t make it to the launch party in VT this Saturday 😦


by Jo Knowles (Goodreads Author)
3.73 of 5 stars3.73 of 5 stars3.73 of 5 stars3.73 of 5 stars3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  26 reviews

Bean (née Pearl) and Henry, misfits and best friends, have the strangest mothers in town. Henry’s mom Sally never leaves the house. Bean’s mom Lexie, if she is home, is likely nursing a hangover or venting to her friend Claire about Bean’s beloved grandfather Gus, the third member of their sunny household.

Gus’s death unleashes a host of family secrets that brings them all together. And they threaten to change everything—including Bean’s relationship with Henry, her first friend, and who also might turn out to be her first love.

Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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Harry Potter Week….(Days 2, 3 & 4)

So I had meant to post every day this week, but I was so crazy getting things ready for the party on Thursday that I literally had no spare time.

Tuesday – I showed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. No one came. Which is fine, because it didn’t require too much effort to hit the play button.

Wednesday – We made wands again, but this time I advertised for ages 9 & up because they would be starting from the beginning. I think I had about 25 people, between kids and adults. I did require younger kids to come in with a parent, because the craft requires too much for younger kids to do alone. We started at 2 and most people arrived at that time. Others came later, which actually worked out better since that meant not everyone was clamoring for the glue guns and hair dryers at once. The kids made some really cool wands. I put out some “phoenix” feathers and “fairy” glitter so they could put them inside the wands for the magical core – it was a last-minute idea. Some kids had feathers sticking out of the bottom or tops of their wands, giving them a tomahawk-handle effect, but they were cute nonetheless. I set up a spray painting station outside and made trips back and forth. The crazy part is that the program was from 2-4 pm and the last people left at exactly 4 pm. That was also the same time it started pouring outside. Talk about good luck!

Thursday – Finally, the day of the Harry Potter party arrived! I was up until 1:00 am making chocolate frogs and chocolate-covered pretzel wands so I was pretty tired. But everything went well. I dressed as Luna Lovegood, complete with radish earrings, a butterbeer cork necklace, Spectre Specs, and a school outfit with a blue striped tie I found at Marshalls. When the kids arrived, they took treat bags and filled them with candy from Honeydukes and Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. They also sampled Butter Beer and Pumpkin Juice (made with real pumpkin!) Then they took turns being sorted (and I don’t have pictures of this because I was doing the sorting, but there should be some great pictures in the local paper.) Each person sat in the chair and wore the sorting hat. (The sorting hat and other props were purchased with money from our LSTA Teen and Tween grant. Then they picked a card from a bag to find out which house they were in. After that, we made a craft (Quiditch Broom pencils) and then I read from Tales of Beedle the Bard. And though the girl from the newspaper looked a bit horrified as I read “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” the majority of the kids were older and have read and seen all the books and movies. And I rather enjoyed reading it 🙂 I also read the one about the fountain. Then I put in HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the kids who were still there. I have to thank everyone who has ever had a Harry Party and blogged about it. Now I will pay it forward. I’ll put up some more pictures when I get some. At least all the work wasn’t for just one day, since I can celebrate Harry’s birthday every July 31st!!

Saturday – Just saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2!! My husband and I went to the 10 am show (because we don’t like crowds) and it was a great movie, despite the missing and/or changed parts from the book. It was still fun to see it on the big screen. And I got emotional more than once! I’m a little sad that it’s over, but at least there will be new fans every year as kids discover the books. And as a children’s librarian, I will make sure that happens.

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Harry Potter Week (Day 1)


Today was the first week of my so-called Harry Potter Extravaganza. The new (and last – *sniff*) movie comes out this Friday so I am having a whole week of Harry related programs. This morning I showed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone upstairs in Dexter Hall (a big room with a large movie screen & projector.) This was in combination with my other new summer program idea – Monday Movie Madness. See what I did there?

At any rate, no one came. Then I showed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this afternoon and two moms with two (young) kids came. They didn’t stay long. I am chalking this up to people on vacation & my kind of last-minute advertising.

The last program on the agenda was the Harry Potter Club, which meets monthly every 1st Monday of the month. Since last Monday was a holiday, we met today….in case you were wondering. This club was started by two high school girls (who also run the anime club) and they were a bit disappointed that it ended up with mostly elementary school kids so they began “forgetting” to come. At that point, it was EVERY Monday, which I quickly changed to once a month.

So, today we made wands. And I have to tell you that I am so totally excited about these! I got the idea from the very cool Harry Potter fan site, The Leaky Cauldron. This is a GREAT site for HP crafts. Though they are usually more on the grown-up side. The idea for the wands is credited to Chris Barnardo.

They are made from paper, glue, tape & paint – and they look like real wooden wands! No whittling necessary. I spent this past weekend making unfinished wands. I did most of the work and left the painting to the kids. These kids are mostly younger, so I didn’t want it to be frustrating, but I wanted them to have a cool finished product. I also made some wands at other less-finished stages, which some chose. A few did choose to make them entirely themselves. This took them about an hour and a half, though it would probably have been shorter if they didn’t have to wait to use the glue guns & hair dryers (2 extremely important crafting tools no Story Time Room should be without!) I had a few adult helpers, which was a lifesaver, since there were about 14 kids there between the ages of 7-13. Despite the waiting intervals, such as drying time or waiting to use the glue gun, they were really great. I had Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets playing on the “reading” side of the room so there was something to do while they were waiting. All of the wands turned out great and they were all very different. It actually went well! And it was a good way to end a long, hectic day.

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Filed under Children's, Crafts, Harry Potter Club, Library, Tweens