Harry Potter Day!

A coworker discovered Bloomsbury’s Harry Potter Book Night promotional materials, so we decided to have our own Harry Potter program. We all love Harry Potter, so it was a no brainer. The official Harry Potter Book Night happened to fall on a February 1st, school night, so we postponed until Saturday. Which also happened to be the day before the Super Bowl (only tangentially important).

Most of the resources from Bloomsbury focus on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, since the new movie is coming out soon. The resources are also geared towards older kids and the super obsessed. Even I didn’t know the answers to most! So I picked through the resource book and made my own program.

First, I found a house sorting system using a cootie catcher, or fortune teller (this is dependent on age and where you grew up). I thought about the Pottermore quiz, but I couldn’t take that long to sort everyone via an online quiz. However, showing second graders how to fold the fortune teller was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. Thankfully a few grownups stayed to enjoy the party. We also had one attendee who was still in Kindergarten and can’t read, so having her mom there was very helpful.

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Once sorted, we had 2 Slytherins, 2 Ravenclaws, and 1 Gryffindor (the kinder) so I joined her team. As you can see, the Slytherins won handily.

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Then we played Pictionary. I came up with the phrases and tried to vary it between easy and hard, as I wasn’t sure what age group would show up. I included: Scabbers, Snape, Hagrid, Bertie Bots Ever Flavor Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Potions class, the Elder Wand, The Burrow and a few more that I can’t remember. Then we moved on to Jeopardy. This is where things got tricky. A lovely volunteen made our Jeopardy board, but all the questions from the Bloomsbury Handbook were about Fantastic Beasts, and the questions were hard! And of course, the kids all went for the 150 point questions, and only one team got a question over 50 points right. So I did feel badly about that. But, in my defense, the program was geared and advertised towards middle and high schoolers. Not in my defense, I should know by now that our programs attendees skew young.

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By the time we finished Jeopardy, our program hour was almost over. We quickly cut out the template for the corner book marks, and I sent them home with supplies to decorate and Harry Potterfy their bookmarks. Then they took home the word search and draw your won beast pages from the Bloomsbury Guide.

All in all, it was a fun program, and I got to capitalize on the fun Superb Owl meme, with the most superb of Superb Owls.

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Worth Reading: Kindness

As you know, we elected a new president on Tuesday. Given the turmoil surrounding the election and the violent hate crimes that are now on the rise, it is more important than ever for libraries to promote inclusiveness and be a safe space for our communities.

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One easy way I (and other libraries) are doing this is by promoting kindness through displays (mine shown above), passive programming and storytime. Below are links to various lists and blog posts and resources for promoting kindness and openness in your library.

The children’s literature community response to the 2016 Election Results.

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https://twitter.com/The_Pigeon

Children’s Books that Champion Kindness

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

ALSC’s “Unity. Kindness. Peace. Booklist”

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How To Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham

Graphic Novelist Rain Telgemeier’s #kidlitsafetypins coloring pages