Kansas Summer Reading Workshop, NWKLS – Wednesday, March 23, 2011


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3-23-11 Kansas' vast plains and green winter wheat

Friends:

Today began the second half of my Summer Reading Workshop Tour in Kansas. I flew into Wichita on Tuesday, March 22, and, after a long drive, arrived at my bed and breakfast in Norton, Kansas very late. Thank you to Gail Santy and George Seamon for being my chauffer. Thank you, Gail, for your excellent tour guide skills. I learned so much about Kansas!

3-23-11 The Rose of Sharon Bed and Breakfast

I stayed at The Rose of Sharon Bed and Breakfast, a pretty house in town. Sharon’s house is like a museum, filled with so many interesting items! I met Sharon’s 9 year old granddaughter, Genesis, who was so sweet.

3-23-11 The Rose of Sharon house full of dolls and porcelain figurines

The Northwest Kansas Library System (“NWKLS”) summer reading workshop began with a draw and tell story called “The Emperor’s Dragon,” a story I created to represent China.

3-23-11 Amy draws The Emperor's Dragon, a Chinese Tale

Next, I showed them the draw and tell tale of “Catching a Pest in 7 Steps.” It’s a fun story in which the numbers create an illustration. Isn’t it cute? Great job, Mary!

3-23-11 Mary Allen draws the mouse from the story, Catching a Pest in 7 Steps

We did the story of “Joseph Had a Little Overcoat,” a cut and tell story from my book, Handmade Tales.

3-23-11 NWKLS Librarians do Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

I showed them how to create the Ugly Duckling and the Beautiful Swan from towels.

3-23-11 The Ugly Duckling and the Beautiful Swan

After showing them a Japanese scroll story and paper Russian nesting dolls, we did the cut and tell story, “Papa’s Teepee,” which turns into a snowflake. Then we created a blizzard! Brrrr!

3-23-11 Creating a blizzard from coffee filter snowflakes

Then it was on to “Bandana Man!” It’s such a popular story and kids love watching the bandana transform.

3-23-11 Old women from the story of Bandana Man

And the bandana men came out sooo cute!

3-23-11 Run, run, run as fast as you can; you can't catch me, I'm Bandana Man!

We did some string stories and I love it when librarians get excited about mastering a new skill! Woo hoo, Sharon!

3-23-11 Sharon is sooo excited to make the string figure star!

Just before lunch, I taught them all how to make a perfect five-pointed paper star with strategic folds and one snip of the scissors.

3-23-11 Yes, these librarians are STARS!

After our taco bar lunch, we got back into the swing of things with Tangrams. I taught them how to create a tangram without a pattern and challenged them to invent a Tangram. Anna was the winner! Way to go, Anna!

3-23-11 Anna is the winner of the Invent-A-Tangram contest with her Rose in Bloom Tangram!

Then it was time for Tangram Story Theater. The group did a great job performing “Tiger’s Tale, Anansi’s Stories,” a tale from the West Indies. “Let’s feel the story beat, let’s feel the story beat. UH!”

3-23-11 Performing Tiger's Tale, Anansi's Stories Tangram story theater

The final part of my workshop focused on “Picture Book Make and Takes.” I showed them the story of The Cajun Cornbread Boy illustrated by Marita Gentry and they made Cajun Cornbread Boy puppets.

3-23-11 Sharon cuts out The Cajun Cornbread Boy puppet after coloring him

I performed an excerpt of The Gigantic Sweet Potato and it was so much fun. Thanks, George and Judy (like the Jetsons? Where’s Jane?!). LOL

3-23-11 George and Judy help Dianne act out The Gigantic Sweet Potato

Then it was time to perform the hilarious Madame Poulet and Monsieur Roach. George Seamon, the NWKLS Library Consultant was Monsieur Roach. Sometime during the workshop, George landed the nickname, “Big Daddy Librarian.” All the librarians LOVED it and vowed to call him that from now on. Fortunately, George has a wonderful sense of humor and had fun with it. Look at how tall he is… he’s 6’4″! BIG DADDY LIBRARIAN!

3-23-11 Madame Poulet and Monsieur Roach were once the best of friends...

I love the part of the story where all the roaches end up on the floor, dead, with their legs up! Too funny!

3-23-11 Monsieur Roach and all his roach buddies are legs up once Madame Poulet finds out the truth!

I ended the workshop with There’s a Dragon in the Library and the librarians loved the accordion dragon. Judy, you did such a great job! Judy, who had seen me last year at the Kansas Storytelling Festival, said to me, “Dianne, I am lucky that your bright comet flew through my Kansas sky twice!” Awww, Judy… You are sooo sweet!

3-23-11 Judy models her accordion dragon from There's a Dragon in the Library

After my workshop finished, George took me to Nebraska. Yes, I stepped foot in Nebraska and now I can say I’ve been there! LOL

3-23-11 Dianne de Las Casas visits Nebraska!

Then George took me to an adobe house at the local state park. The house, named “Lady of the Prairie,” was built in the 1890s. Since that time, it has been restored.

3-23-11 This adobe house was constructed in the 1890s

My day ended with another long drive to my final destination. I will tell you this. I have never seen so much open space! It’s breathtaking how the land just stretches for miles. I was told that in Kansas, there are more cows per capita than people! Funny little factoid. Here, in the plains, I felt the powerful Kansas winds. There were times I felt like I would be swept away like Dorothy!

The people of Kansas have been so kind and sweet. Thank you, NWKLS, for having me as your summer reading presenter this year. You have swept me off my feet with your hospitality! Here’s to “One World, Many Stories!”

Until next time…

Warmly, Dianne