Inside the world of fashion designers + architects.

We had two wonderful story times here at Little in the month of June. We will be taking a break from story time during July + August to make more space for summer fun + will resume sometime in September. It's been such a fun year of reading to all of our little friends. I wanted to finish off the season with two story + craft themes that I had been so excited to share.

To start off, June 3rd was all about Paris + fashion! Here are my Parisian book picks:

Little Story Time
Coco Chanel, by Isabel Sánchez Vegara is from the Little People, Big Dreams series. These books all celebrate + share the lives of strong women throughout history - women who set paths for others to follow. Coco Chanel tells the story of young Gabrielle's beginning in an orphanage in France. She grew to design hats +, later, to create comfortable + fashionable clothing for women. The story tells of how Coco's clothing was different + many people resisted change +and her new ideas, but she didn't let that stop her. Eventually, people started to love her designs + she became the icon that we all know today. I love that this book tells the true story of someone starting from humble beginnings accomplishing exactly what she set out to do.

Little Story Time
Our next book, Kiki + Coco in Paris, by Nina Gruener, is another book about a girl named Coco in the City of Love. This time, the girl is a doll + her human's name is Kiki. The two friends take a plane to Paris + explore the magical city. Coco feels alive + happy with her girl. This book is filled with beautiful, large photographs of the lovely Jess Brown doll + her smartly dressed human friend. The photographs are colorful + charming + will probably make you want to hop on a plane for some fresh baguettes + a trip to the art museum.

Little Story Time
For an activity, we became our own fashion designers + made paper dolls! I printed out a template online + cut an androgynous doll shape from thin cardboard. I wanted the dolls themselves to be sturdy. I collected felt scraps, fabric, ribbon, colored paper, sequins + washi tape + put it all in a basket for guests to choose from. Kids (+ parents) had so much fun creating dresses, pants, ninja suits + accessories for their dolls. I think this might have been one of our best craft projects yet! So much fun!

Our last story time of the season, on June 24th, was themed around architecture. Here are my books picks for mini-architects:

Little Story Time
Young Frank Architect, by Frank Viva, is about two architects named... Frank. Old Frank + Young Frank have different ideas about what it means to be an architect. Do they designs buildings? Cities? Furniture? And what kinds of buildings could an architect create - round? Spiral? Or just a plain old box? They take a trip to the MoMA in New York City + learn that an architect can create so many things + can dream up buildings that look like nothing anyone has ever seen before. They are so inspired by what they've seen, they can't wait to start designing things at home. This book references the work of... you guessed it, Frank Lloyd Wright as well as Frank O. Gehry. We also see the work of Charlotte Perriand, a French architect, + Arthur Young, an American inventor + helicopter expert. Each of these artists has a short biography in the back of the book for further learning.

Iggy Peck, Architect, by Andrea Beaty follows the style of the popular Ada Twist, Scientist + Rosie Revere, Engineer. I enjoy any book that encourages kids to look deeper into math + science (+ to see how creative these fields can be). Iggy is a young man who will create bridges + towers out of anything, including fruit + dirty diapers. He runs into trouble with his second-grade teacher, who doesn't appreciate his passion + enthusiasm for building. Then, one day, Iggy's ingenuity helps his classroom out of a bind while on a school field trip + all is right with the world. Iggy's love of architecture lives on.

Little Story Time
Young Frank + Iggy inspired our own craft time. Like them, we created structures with common items that I found around the store. The main component of these buildings were toilet + paper towel rolls. I pre-painted some with windows or grid patterns + left some plain. I also cut out discs of heavy stock paper + my co-worker, Rose, cut out some adorable windows + doors. Kids stacked their rolls by cutting slits into the sides + fitting the tubes together. They also stacked them by layering paper discs between them. They then glued on windows, doors + trees + then decorated the facades with markers. I'll admit that I had as much fun with this activity as the kids did! So fun! This is such a fun, 3-dimensional art project that you can do with things that you probably already have on hand!

Thanks so much to all of our Little friends who have come to our story times this past season. We hope to see you all in the fall!


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