Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pajama Party

Last night my Writing Children's Books winter term students and I had our class pajama party by the fireplace in the Great Hall at the Prindle Institute for Ethics. I switched our class time from afternoon to evening, encouraged students to wear pj's and/or nightgowns (complete with robes and slippers if so desired), and to bring stuffed animals and a favorite book to share. I wore a nightgown as well, my favorite new warm flannel Lanz of Salzburg nightgown ordered from the Vermont Country Store, and provided hot chocolate, milk, apple cider, and a tray of cookies, plus a dozen tiny red velvet cupcakes. The cupcakes were in honor of a student who had written her picture book about a cupcake war between two sisters resolved when they discover a shared love for red velvet cupcakes.

I would say that the event was a success. Only a few students actually appeared in their pajamas, but at least there were those few, and we had a total of five stuffed animals, including my jackrabbit, Ruby. I was shocked to find that one bear didn't have a name yet and also noticed some hesitation on the part of my students to make the voices for their stuffed animals. But by the end of the evening, all the stuffed animals were conversing comfortably.

We heard selections from Fancy Nancy, Frog and Toad, and Dr. Seuss, as well as snippets from some older chapter books. The highlight of the evening was when we started reading Junie B. Jones Is (Almost) a Flower Girl, and just couldn't stop. We ended up reading the entire 68-page book aloud, passing it from reader to reader, each one taking a chapter. I especially loved hearing the boys reading Junie's lines with lots of expression.

Next treat for my class: tomorrow we have a visit from illustrator/animator/author Troy Cummings.

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