March 29, 2011

A Storybook Village and Alphabet Glue


You know that question about having dinner with a famous person? Well, over the past couple of days Camille and I have been having a similar, but perhaps even more entertaining discussion. Here's the question: if you could create your own village full of your favorite characters, who would you want to be your neighbor? And what would their house look like? 

It all started with Annie's new and fabulous on-line magazine, Alphabet Glue. It's a delightful concoction of everything we love: books, book related crafts, book inspired gardening, bookish games, lists, and even a library scavenger hunt. This an amazing resource for families, teachers, librarians, and book lovers of all ages, but even more than that it offers the kind of inspiration that you get from reading a really, good book. You know what I am talking about, right? One of those books that stays with you, nudges itself into the little nooks and crannies of your brain, creates little sparks of inspiration where there previously hadn't been anything, and works its way into conversations with friends and strangers...it's so good you just have to tell everyone. Yep, that's what Alphabet Glue feels like to me.

And Camille's storybook village is the perfect example of that Alphabet Glue magic. About a week ago, Annie kindly sent me a copy of the magazine and while gobbling it up, Camille and I became fixated on the tutorial for storybook character houses. We used the template for building the first house. A lovely purple house for Ling and Ting. The template worked nicely especially with oil pastels on the colored card stock, but halfway through the construction stage Camille began to list all of the other favorite characters she wanted to live next door to Ling and Ting. So to move things along a bit, I dug out a few small boxes from our recycling bin to use as "pre-fab" homes. We covered our table with scrap paper, glue, buttons, stickers, and spent the next two days in a creative frenzy. And that's how Camille's village grew to include an old woman with a magic pasta pot, a grumpy amphibian, and spunky thing-finder.

So here's my question for you and/or your kids? If you were to construct a storybook village, who would your fictional neighbors be? Post your answer in the comment section and perhaps you will be one of two lucky winners to receive the first edition of Alphabet Glue. Winners will be announced on Saturday, April 2nd. And if you don't win, don't be disheartened. Head over here, buy your own copy, and before you know it you will be thinking, talking, and creating books. Alphabet Glue is sticky like that!


18 comments:

Vanessa/NessieNoodle said...

this is such a sweet idea. I am sure we would have a big tree from go dog go as one of our neighbors... off to check the link...

Karla said...

Thanks for sharing your creation! I found the e-magazine link yesterday, but still need to look through it. Thanks, too, for the info on the free-museums through Blue Star Families. I'll miss so many of those in this area. We head to Pensacola for one year in June. Loved your links from your March list. Just attended the Armed Forces Public Health Conference where there were many topics on returning service-members and families. Enjoy your spring--we got a taste of it last week, but it's returning to colder weather again.
Karla & Family

Dawn said...

Don't enter me in the giveaway of course but I just had to say how much I LOVE this...
We would for sure have Miss Rumphius as a neighbor... along with Lydia Grace from The Gardener and I'm sure Stillwater would be found in our hood.
I am thinking I need to clear off a shelf for our storybook neighborhood.
Thanks Lucia... and Annie! :)

boatbaby said...

Oh dear, I am in love. Zach's favorite at the moment are the gang from Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree series. He adores Moonface and Silky and Dish Pan Man.
What a fabulous post and thank you for the giveaway too :)

Laurie said...

Well, Hannah'd want the little boy from the board book "I Love You All the Time," who she's obsessed with (He wears a red baseball cap. So, she turns a red fire hat around backwards to make herself look like him.). And me? I'd take the O'Keefes from the Wrinkle in Time series - I thought they were cool people when I read the books as a kid, and still do as a grown up! ;)

Dana said...

Love this idea! Absolutely, loved it. Let's see, the characters in our combined family village would likely be the very bratty Junie B. living right next to Scout, who might just be next to Moses or Jacob. (This kid of mine just LOVEs her bible stories...not sure what's going on with that.) Emily Brown and Trixie would probably find a place, too.
I have a feeling this might be a perfect project for a rainy weekend in our house.
Thanks, once again, for a wonderful idea, Lucia.
D

katy said...

Wow, this is wonderful! I know our village would be filled with Rainbow Magic Fairies. Ramona, Beezus and Davy would likely be there along with Curious George! Thanks for sharing.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Oh, I am loving this....all of these fabulous new neighbors. Isn't it a fun thing to imagine? Junie B. Jones teasing Toad. The late night sounds of a rockin' Dog party in the treetops. The beautiful gardens created by Miss Rumphius and Lydia Grace. The lively O'Keefe and Quimby families. And even some new-to-us friends. Headed off right now to learn more about the Faraway Tree Series and the Rainbow Magic Fairies. Lets keep this going since it really is so much better than doing the dishes, right? And be sure to spread the word of the giveaway.

Annie, thanks for inspiring and sparking this bookish fun!

Nancy / summer sky said...

don't put me in for the giveaway, but I just have to say I love, love what you did!

for imaginary neighbors, I'd say, the kids from Noisy Village, the Boxcar children, Laura & Mary Ingalls, Anne of Green Gables...did I leave anyone out?

Love Annie's new mag!

kelly said...

This is so lovely! Our neighbourhood would be crowded as favourite characters are Tilly and Gang from Polly Dunbar, Elmer the Elephant and Biggles!

I am going to smooch over to Alphabet Glue for a nosey...it sounds fantastic!

Martha said...

Can I come play at your house? That looks like such fun.

Lost in Sicily said...

this awesome! love your little village and the whole process that went along with creating it, thanks for sharing another great find and source of inspiration!

Susan said...

Love the star of David on Ling & Ting's house!

Corinne said...

Can I please live next door to Willy Wonka? And Moxy Maxwell. And Elephant and Piggie a la Mo Willems :)

Emily said...

This is fantastic, Lucia! Katherine and I both love the village Camille created! I asked Katherine who she would add to *her* village and she said first and foremost she'd build a stable for Black Beauty, Merrylegs and Ginger.

Apparently, right now all her best neighbors would be horses. :)

Francesca said...

What an amazing paper village!

holly b said...

oooh, I'm gonna quiz my kids on that when they get home. I just sent them ALL to a friends house (save the school kid) so I can have a morning off. and here I am reading blogs!

In MY village, I'd have The Little House, Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel named Mary Ann, and maybe Piggie and Gerald. Oh and Tum Tum and Nutmeg, but probably not General Marchmouse. Maybe Fancy Nancy and her neighbor Bree. If I asked Evalyn, Black Beauty and Jack and Annie and Morgan Le Fay would probably be there too. Oh my! This will be so much fun....

Mom said...

Do not enter me, but I can just imagine the girls from "Little Women" joining your happy neighborhood.