I mention Natasia throughout this post quite a few times. In case you’re unaware of who she is, she was my right-hand creative rock star who did the vast majority of the concept and creation of what you’ll be seeing (including photos of her own work). A few weeks ago we said goodbye as she moved on to a non-library job. She is deeply missed.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me in any way to get more details or answers to your questions about anything. I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Now on to the themes!!!
January: Dragon Magic
This was a simple, but very effective theme. As kids approached the door, they’d see a magical book, and when they stepped inside, they’d be greeted by this large dragon (who came out of the book).
Our community’s mascot is a dragon, and so this was quite popular. We had a wide variety of dragon-themed books on display, and the display was always nearly empty.
Thankfully, Natasia’s beautiful dragon found a home within a Gretna teacher’s classroom once this month was over. We do that a lot with parts of our themes: giving them away at the end of the month. Sometimes it’s through social media contests, or more often than not, when someone inquires about it.
BEARS!!!! Goodness knows we had enough bear-related items to put out at our reading bench display.
That bear waving “hi” and “bye” to everyone was just the sweetest. He got a good number of high-fives from kids on their way into the library.
This also marks the first facts display created by Natasia. Our team would have a blast when she’d show off all of the cool facts she’d compiled for the themes. It was also really nice to hear kids and their caregivers talking about all of the posted information.
March: Farm Fun
For many years, our city has been the fastest growing city in Nebraska. While we are right next to Omaha, we still have farmland to the south and west of us. So anytime we do anything farm-related, it tends to be a hit with both kids and adults.
It was also fun to see kids notice the cow in our front window’s barn. We decided to box it in since the toy would be within arms reach of almost any curious kiddo.
April & May: For the Birds
We put out bird coloring sheets for the kids in April and then filled the windows with their creations in May. Neither Natasia nor myself remembered to get a picture of the entire front display, but you get the general idea of it with the top photo. What you can’t see is the power poles Natasia created where the twine is attached so it looks like the birds are perched on power lines. There were also flying birds, but the perchers easily won the popularity contest.
The cut paper she used to create the birds on the inside display was really cool. The little feather tufts you see were somehow tucked into the main portion of the birds giving them a depth and texture.
June & July: CSLP’s Universe of Stories
Natasia (who you catch a glimpse of in the 3rd picture down) found this great rocket template on Etsy. I believe that it’s this one. She also found a simple star template and hung those around as well. She used discarded books and other paper that we had on hand to create a space super-highway across our ceiling.
I wish that you could get a better feel for how large the blue and white rocket was. I’d estimate it at around 3 feet tall. We gave it away in a Facebook post, so there’s one lucky kid out there who has a sweet rocket in his or her room.
Our two summer teen interns wanted their focus to be on being Creative Directors, so they helped design August’s scientific theme. They put together the display sign using the periodic table to spell out a phrase (which I can’t seem to find!!!), gave Natasia the concept of oversized science things using colorful pieces of cellophane, and wanted the facts board to be about female scientists.
The cellophane was such a cool effect that we’ll have to try using it again with something in the future.
September: Reading ‘Round the World
The above photo shows how tight the workspace is here. Anything that’s large needs to be able to move in an instant in case someone needs help or access to a space in the library. Natasia was fantastic at making that happen.
The heart in the above sign was made using flags from around the world.
I loved the recycled book hot air balloons so much that three of them float above my desk.
October: Creepy Carrots
Author Aaron Reynolds visited our schools back in 2017, and the kids here continue to be huge fans. So when Natasia asked if she could do a Creepy Carrots themed October, I was totally for it.
I truly love what she did here. From the dead-on replication of the artwork, to creating the “Wall-O-Creepy Carrots,” she nailed it. And in terms of the whiteboard, the kids would decorate a carrot and then come up and ask for the googly eyes.
Oh – and the scavenger hunt!!! Natasia made the creepy underwear (the spikes are from leftover cellophane from the previous month), and I scanned them in to make prize stickers. It was one of our most popular scavenger hunts of the year.
November: Nutty About Books
I’m going to jump in here to let you know a bit more about this display. Natasia had it up and looking fabulous, when I walked by and yelled “SQUIRREL!” and then started laughing. I told Natasia that I thought we should have Dug from Disney’s Up! yelling his famous line somewhere in the display. So Natasia very graciously made it happen.
I LOVE IT!!!
What a simple, but very popular theme! The simple garland that was draped across the windows was a nice change from our typically large scale displays. And the book display was almost always completely checked out which was a pleasant surprise.
December: Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary
Typically we celebrate a children’s book artist during the month (we affectionately call it Decemberley after Ed Emberley), but this year we went a different direction. Since it was Sesame Street‘s 50th anniversary, we wanted to do something special, and we only had December left in terms of decor openings in 2019.
Again, Natasia’s work was a beautiful sight to behold. Oscar was my absolute favorite since his trashcan was made using metallic silver tissue paper, and he had Slimey with him. But the younger crowd was so excited to see their favorite Muppets – it was a delight to behold.
I created the sign for the reading bench display, using a digital file from Etsy (which is no longer available), and changing the street’s name to Winter Reads.
And there you have it: our 2019 Children’s Library themes!