Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Parade of Readers!

The Stone Scholastic Academy primary grades (k-3) are marching together in our first (hopefully annual) Costume Book Parade on Wednesday, October 12th at 2:00 p.m., dressed as favorite book characters and rallying for a love of reading!  You are welcome to watch the parade outside at 2:00; bring little brothers and sisters to cheer, and don't forget the camera!  This is a great opportunity for us to celebrate Stone as a community of readers, and to create home-school connections. 

Please help by working with your child to make something to wear that fits our theme. Children should bring a copy of the book they are representing to carry in the parade.   Please, let's avoid superheroes, cartoon characters or horror-related costumes; this is not a Halloween party.  The rule of thumb is that the character should come from something that was a book first, not a cartoon or a movie.  For children whose religions do not permit children to wear costumes, they may instead carry a poster they create based on a favorite book (see "placards" below if you want to get fancy).

This is also a great opportunity to visit the Chicago Public Library together, to explore options and check out books.  All Stone Academy superstars are expected to have a library card in their name.  Our closest library is the Northtown Branch, 6435 North California, (312) 744-2292. 

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, using household items to make a fun costume in less than an hour!

• Cut "ears" out of construction paper, leaving a little extra length at the bottom of each ear.  Fold a flap at the bottom of the ear and tape to a plastic headband.  Great for bears, pigs, cats, etc.!

• Examples of easy costumes:
mouse ears + pink tutu + pink ribbon + eyebrow pencil whiskers = Angelina Ballerina by Helen Craig
mouse ears + blue overalls  + a bag of chocolate chip cookies  + eyebrow pencil whiskers = If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Straw hat + black ribbon + red coat + white socks + black shoes = Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
bear ears + overalls with one strap undone = Corduroy by Don Freeman
red material + basket = Little Red Riding Hood
Floppy hat decorated with tissue paper flowers + apron = Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

• Paper bags can be magical!  Design a gown from one like The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, or cut out a cowboy vest and don a cowboy hat like Pecos Bill by Steven Kellogg!

• You can make googly eyes for Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel or Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by  Bernard Waber from egg cartons!  Attach two egg receptacles to a half-paper plate colored green, to be tied around the forehead!  Wear a green turtleneck, pants or tights!  Add green felt spikes for dinosaur or dragon characters!

• Fairy tale costumes are fun and easy!  Construction paper crowns sparkling with glitter or aluminum foil for kings and queens...scarf capes for paper rolled into cone-shapes with a scarf at the top for princesses, or decorated with silver moons for wizards...aluminum foil stars on foil-covered sticks for wands...wicked witches are storybook characters that can be recycled for Halloween!

• Beauty secret!  Pippi Longstocking's braids stick out with the help of pipe cleaners!

• An alternative to a disguise is to make a placard!  Take two pieces of poster board, punch two holes at the top of each piece and tie yard to attach the boards, leaving about 3-5 inches of "give" on the yarn, so your child can slip the boards over the head, carrying the boards on the shoulders.  Your child can then decorate the poster board like a favorite book!  A walking advertisement!

• There are so many classic characters from classic books:  Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, King Arthur, Oliver Twist, Curious George...which was your favorite as a child?  Now is a great time to read it aloud!

• And don't forget, readers of non-fiction are real readers, too!  How about an alien costume if your child loves a book about outer space?  A chef carrying a cookbook?  A famous person carrying his or her biography?  A favorite animal carrying a book featuring that animal?  

Need more ideas?  Click here for clever and easy homemade costumes via Family Fun!  The goal is not expense, but I-M-A-G-I-N-A-T-I-O-N!

So! Checklist for October 12th:
Send your child to school with the costume (or poster) in a bag, to be changed into (or carried) in the afternoon.  Please keep it simple.  Mark all belongings with name and room number.
Send your child to school with the corresponding book to carry in the parade.
Cheer and take pictures on the school playground at 2:00, if you are available.
If you are not available, we love you just the same, and we'll take pictures.

Thank you for your support!

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