Pequot Library

Lemonade for Literacy

by Madeline

This past week, Pequot Library held its annual book sale. Pequot Library’s annual book sale has been dubbed the biggest and the best book sale in New England.pequotbooksalesignFor the last four years, Wonderland BookSavers has run a “Lemonade for Literacy” stand during the book sale. The purpose of Lemonade for Literacy is to raise donations to purchase books from Pequot Library’s book sale, and then donate those books. The books we obtained this year via Lemonade for Literacy and Pequot Library’s book sale will be going to South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Ghana. lemonadestand3To prepare our stand and concessions, we spruced up some of our old signs and banners and created some new signs with recent pictures of our service work so customers could see the children we serve.

Each night, we baked new batches of brownies, cookies, and rice crispy treats. Every morning before we went to the library, we made a new batch of homemade lemonade. We arrived at the library in the late morning each day to settle ourselves and set up our stand. We propped up a piece of plywood as a table on top of wooden crates, and then swept a yellow and white table cloth over our table. Next, we put our cooler filled with our ice cold lemonade to one side of our stand, and we arrayed our baked goods across the rest of the table. lemonadestand1Instead of having fixed prices on our commodities, we had all our goods priced by donation.

We ran our stand from about 11 AM to 4 PM each day of the book sale. We had many customers, but during the slower times of day, we passed time playing Apples to Apples, UNO, and reading books.

On the last day of the book sale, instead of running Lemonade for Literacy, we selected books from inside the expansive white tent, and then used our $212.50 that we raised through our lemonade stand to purchase 1,500 books.lemonadestand10Through our Lemonade for Literacy stand, we were able to benefit our longtime community partner Pequot Library while collecting books to donate to children in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ghana.

 

Team Wonderland BookSavers Leads Medieval Art Workshop at Pequot Library

By Madeline

Last week, WBS team members Madeline, Claire, Emma and Brooks Morgan led a medieval art workshop at Pequot Library. We examined medieval literature, reflecting especially on the process of creating manuscripts. We also instructed on how to create illuminated manuscripts and write in different cursive styles. Additionally, we read medieval stories and taught Roman Numerals and the medieval calendar system–which operates by recognizing certain days and showing the distance of regular days from the special days to account for time.

During the Middle Ages, manuscripts were one of the few viable ways to preserve information. These books were created by first making parchment. The process of making parchment consisted of first obtaining goat or cow skin. Next, the skin would be soaked in water and lye and cleaned to remove any fibers. The skin would then be stretched to dry, and lastly, the skin would be cut into pieces of parchment. The parchment would then be sewn into gatherings, and the gatherings would be bound into a book. Lastly, clasps would be added to keep the book shut and protect the manuscript. Then, scribes would embark on the lengthy process of copying information into the book, and illuminating certain letters. Lastly, any images would be drawn or painted and the book would be complete.

On the first day, we along with Beth Beaudin, the Special Collections Consultant of Pequot Library, surveyed the process of manuscript making. We also began to teach basic cursive to the children.

Every day we had a snack and recess break, where we played “discus” (frisbee) and “Bubonic Plague” (the game infection, where one person is “it”, and they along with people who have been tagged tag others until only one person is left). We also played “capture the crown”, which was our medieval version of capture the flag.

During the second day we introduced calligraphic cursive styles and how to write in medieval handwriting. The children transcribed poems and also practiced writing their names. We taught the children about the medieval calendar and how to use Roman Numerals. Towards the end of the day, everyone began creating the skeletons for their illuminated letters. We also visited The Birds of America, a book by John James Audubon with a compilation of life-size, chromolithographic American birds.

For the third day, we focused on nobility, coats of arms, and finishing the illuminated letters. Everyone was able to design and create a coat of arms to wear which represented their interests or personality. The zenith of the week was being able to examine a book made in 1190–the oldest book in Pequot Library’s collection. The manuscript was a letter from Pope Gregory on proper behavior and conduct. We also had a guest speaker come and teach about Shakespeare, and we acted out scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

1190book

Examining the manuscript from 1190

 

shakespearefairies.JPG

The fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

On the final day of camp, everyone made crowns and armor, finished the cursive books which we began on Monday, and reflected on everything learned during the week. The children collected their amassed number of projects, crowns, letters, books and sheets, and we headed out to play our final game of “capture the crown”.

crownscoatofarms

Campers wearing crowns and coats of arms

It was incredible to immerse ourselves and other children in medieval studies, and we will look forward to continuing the medieval theme with the reading program this summer at Pequot Library.

 

 

 

Wonderland BookSavers Attend Meet the Author with Ida Siegal

By Madeline

Last Friday, Team Wonderland BookSavers attended a “Meet the Author” event with Ida Siegal, an author of a series of four books, at our local library. Many of us have seen Ida broadcasting news stories as an NBC New York reporter, but we were unaware that Ida also wrote children’s books.

idabooks.JPG

An array of Ida’s series of books, Emma Is on the Air

Ida recently published Emma Is on the Air, a series of four books in which the protagonist, Emma, pieces together puzzles and mysteries at her school and reports on the subsequent happenings. Ida explained that she wanted to create a series of books to illustrate what reporters do. As she spoke to us, she explained that children are always interested in news reporters–she recounted how whenever children see the iconic NBC peacock logo and all the news equipment, they immediately sprint over to ask a deluge of questions. Ida said she wanted to create something to show children what being a news reporter is like, and with the incite and perspective of being an actual news reporter, Ida created this series of books to help readers see how reporters operate.listeningtoida.JPGIda read a few chapters from her first book from her series, Big News!, and after reading two chapters, Ida held a question-and-answer session where we and other children were able to ask about her writing process, her inspiration for the books, and how her career as a reporter helped in creating the story.idareading.JPGLastly, Ida held a book-signing, and we got signed copies of Ida’s book Big News! This event was both informational and inspiring, and we gleaned firsthand knowledge about news reporting and book publishing.

Brownies for Books by Emma

We know it is finally midsummer with the arrival of the Annual Pequot Library Book Sale.

WBS Brownies 1A

This sale is the largest in New England. Thousands of book lovers come from the surrounding areas, some as far north as Massachusetts and New Hampshire, some as far south as New Jersey. The tents are filled with dog-eared and beloved books on every subject. Booksellers, book lovers and book browsers peruse the books, each searching (and finding) those unique volumes that will inspire and delight.

WBS Brownies 1

These past three days we went to the Pequot Library and set up a lemonade stand in rain and sunshine.  We all huddled under an umbrella as it poured and were still huddled under it for shade when it was sunny.  We made $212 by selling lemonade, different kinds of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes.  I enjoyed making the brownies with my two little brothers and sister.

WBS Brownies 2 On the last day of the sale we used our money for a great deal: $5 a box! We bought 40 boxes of wonderful children’s books, over two thousand books filled with facts, fiction and fantasy. We chose classics, illustrated novels and inspiring picture books. Many of these books we have read and loved ourselves.

WBS Brownies 3The volunteer cashier was very impressed and asked to have a picture taken with us. She wrote down the quote on the back of our shirts, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free,” by Frederick Douglass.

WBS Brownies 4

Soon we will pack up the boxes and ship them to different parts of Africa, with the help of a donating corporation.

WBS Brownies 5

My favorite part of this process was giving a cookie and lemonade to our first customer, a little girl with a beautiful smile.