Thursday, November 6, 2014

Literary Advent Calendar

Last year I decided to change up Lil Lampshade's Advent Calendar. We'd tried the small candies and toys (which just ended up in the garbage) and we'd done several years of Lego (which, admittedly, was more fun for me than for her - and pricey to boot). I tried to think of ways to keep the spirit of the concept while providing her with something that would be useful daily but with a smaller cost. And I came up with books. Obvs. Here's how it went down:

Collecting The Tomes
1. I acquired books through her Scholastic Book order from school. I would add on a book or two for the calendar, particularly in the "packs" where you can often get 4 or 5 books for less than $1/ea. I arranged with the teacher to pick them up separately so LL wouldn't see them.
2. I visited the local library's book sale and scored some gently used gems.
3. I would pick up a book when I visited an Indie Bookstore.
4. I would look in the children's sections of the bookseller I was patronizing on and add a few books to my order (typically for no additional shipping charge).
5. You could also visit your local used book store.

Presenting The Tomes
1. I bought a bulk pack of flat brown paper bags. I made sure to get them medium to large because the book sizes vary. I used brown paper because we compost.
2.  I "wrapped" them in the bags and used tape to adjust to each size. TIP: Choose your order BEFORE you wrap.
3. I labeled them with gift tags I found in the bargain bin at the craft store. I used number stamps to indicate the day on the tag but you could just as easily hand-number.
4. Finally, I arranged them in a basket and we were ready to go!

It might seem daunting to purchase 24 book but I got them all for under $30. I wish (I WISH!) I had made a list of the books she got last year, but I didn't. I learned this year and here are the 2014 Lil Lampshade Advent Books (she's 7):

Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her by Amy Novesky
Mother Teresa: A Life of Kindness by Ellen Weiss
Precious and the Boo Hag by Patricia C. McKissack & Onawumi Jean Moss
The Year Without A Santa Claus by Phyllis McGinley
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino & Jon Nelson
Library Mouse: A World to Explore by Daniel Kirk
E-MERGENCY! By Tom Lichtenheld & Ezra Fields-Meyer
Tallulah’s Toe Shoes by Marilyn Singer
Astronomy: Out of This World! By Dan Green
Fluffy Saves Christmas by Kate McMullan
Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
Who Pooped in the Park by Gary D. Robson
Human Body: A Book with Guts by Dan Green
I Have a Little Dreidel by Maxie Baum
Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka
Katie the Candy Cane Fairy by Tim Bugbird
Music: Hit the Right Note by Dan Green
The Little Drummer Mouse by Mercer Mayer
Mythbusters Science Fair Books #1-2 by Samantha Margles
Rosa Parks: A Life of Courage by Tonya Leslie
Can You See What I See?: The Night Before Christmas by Walter Wick
Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia by Jeanette Winter
Who Was Sally Ride? by Megan Stine
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray

I would love to hear from you in you have a BiblioTradition in your family! Happy Holidays!