A book project

Earlier this month, I was lucky to win a copy of Bird and Little Bird’s Alphabet Glue over at Mousy Brown’s House. Yah! This is the first e-zine I have received. The description of the projects were enticing and easy to follow. BL’s teachers words, from parent’s evening, were still ringing in my ears. My six year old could do with fun projects to encourage her interest in reading. I felt Alphabet Glue may just help.

I printed out the pdf and put it in a project folder. As I handed it to BL, I was still unsure if she would be interested. After encouraging “oohs” and “ahhs” and “Can we do this” from her, I was sure that we would have some interesting projects to do over the Easter holiday. I should add that it appealed to my book-mad 8 year old as well.

The first day, they set up a library. TF was a very willing first customer for them. He borrowed and returned a good number of books. I feel this bodes well for him in the future.

Friday, we set about the next project. Accordion books. These are such a hit with both the girls. BL was so focused on her fast building collection, that she sat at the table long after the others. She took such care to spell the words correctly, even though I suggested that she just write down her story and not worry. Even made noises that she didn’t want to go to the play park when I suggested it. Her stories were beautiful. They loved making the boxes. Especially as I dug out some previous unseen (to them) holographic card.

Next project concerned going to the library. We could have done this with our books at home, but luckily I had reserved on-line, a collection of books through our library system, which were ready for collection. This service from the library is new to me and I didn’t even realise that it existed. Only after Kelly, who lives in a neighbouring county, blogged about their library service, did I even look into it.

Once home, books were read. I read to them as well. The reading record is filling up.

Today, I printed out the house templates, from Alphabet Glue. The project behind this is just perfect for the girls. They had so much fun and chatted about each house between themselves. They laughed and encouraged each other. Lots of “And remember when…”. By the end of the project, each house was like a book review. I suspect there will be more of these being made in the next few days!

I loved looking at the book recommendations, as the majority are new to me. Like a list of new soon-to-be-favourites which are yet to be discovered. The girls are deciding which project to do next.

I know that these book projects have been a success. After a few days of basing projects around Alphabet Glue, BL has moved from a reluctant reader to keen. Last night, when I tucked her in to bed, we chatted.

BL: “I prefer being at home rather than school.”

Me: “Why?”

BL: “We have to do hard work at school. Like reading and writing.”

Me: “Ah.  {pause} So, did you enjoy making the books and reading your books to me?”

BL: “Oh yes. That was fun! I wish that we could do that every day.”

I think that she is totally unaware that we were “working” on her reading and writing. She did not perceive that she had been working hard, to boot! I will be fascinated to see how she gets on at school when she goes back.

Thank you, Annie (and Mousy Brown). We are having so much fun with Alphabet Glue.


  1. How excellent !!!!! and it looks Great fun too :0)

    You probably don’t need more ideas but in case you do I found these really helpful

    Books with teaching ideas you might get from the library
    “Words with Wings” by Moira Andrews
    You can preview it at google


    “Language in Colour” by Moira Andrew (available from amazon UK starting at 50p)


    The whole series is lovely but I found these especially useful for reading and writing activities that don’t seem like work :0)

    1. Just had a quick look. I love the idea of more projects that don’t feel like work. Especially as this is the aspect that BL resents. I don’t want her to think of her time with me as “having to do” work. She needs the positive touch to encourage her and not the feeling of being pushed. Thank you for the recommendations. You are a fountain of book knowledge! I’ll take a closer look in the morning, when I’m feeling less tired. {Yawn}

  2. Oh what a clever mother you are… doing no work at all and yet producing all those darling books!!! I just love it!!! Meanwhile Asterix is now thoroughly littered throughout the house and it seems to be doing the trick perfectly – sigh of relief!!! Wild boar was requested for dinner… luckily I forgot!!! Hope you are enjoying some Spring!!!

    1. Guess wild boar request is not so bad. At least he’s not trying to hurl menhirs around or terrorize your nearest camp of Romans! I remember reading Lucky Luke around the same age. Although thinking about it, that it was in french, and I’ve never seen an english version. Not forgetting Tintin.

  3. Wonderful, it sounds like a great e-zine. It is wonderful when learning just doesn’t look like learning to them isn’t it.
    My daughter and I often have book making days – I love the idea of the boxes.

    1. Back again, just wanted to thank you for this post, have just popped along to the blog and it looks great so one to follow and read, oh and I decided to purchase the e-zine too as you “sold” it to me. Looking forward to doing some of the activities soon.
      Dawn x

      1. I hope you get lots from it. I think it is a good price, as BL is getting much more out of it than her usual crafting magazine, which costs more. Being an e-zine means that I can print out the templates and we don’t have to worry about ruining the reverse of the page. I am now a e-zine convert! Looking forward to seeing what you make!

    2. If ever I needed to spin a concept, it has to be to improve BL’s idea of work. Learning is fun and I’m glad that there are resources out there that can help me see that it is. Book making is fun!

  4. Oh Cheryl – what an amazing time you have been having, I am so glad you are enjoying the e-zine so much together. I was so impressed when Annie sent me my copy that I had no hesitation recommending it – seeing the fun you have been having while not ‘working’ I hope will encourage loads of other people to give it a try too! Hope you are still enjoying the sunshine – happy holidays! Em x

    1. More book houses are being made as I type. They are making and then running out to the garden to play, so it is a really nice balance. I’m getting out my sewing machine for a seperate project, so I’ll use it to start the next project. Loving this e-zine. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Debbie. I don’t feel that I do much as it is their enthusiasm that makes it all happen. My roe is to provide the materials and the basic instructions. I get a big kick out of seeing the ideas they come up with.

  5. 😛 I taught ” Littlies! ” for so many lovely years and — I wish all the Mums had been like you. Wonderful !
    Kindest Regards Linda

    1. Hi Linda. So pleased you dropped by. I hope her teacher will notice some change. Its so much fun spending time doing this with them. How lucky you were to do it as a profession. 🙂

  6. I have an Alphabet Glue giveaway going on my blog right now. Isn’t it a fabulous magazine?

    I’m going to place a link to this post in my giveaway post–I love the enthusiasm the magazine has whipped up in your girls! It’s lovely proof of how fun these projects can be–and how fun *real* learning can be!

    1. We have had so much fun with Alphabet Glue, and more to do as well. My two girls have noted when the next one is due out, so I know that they are keen! If we didn’t already have a copy, I’d be entering your giveaway. Hope the lucky winner enjoys it as much as we have.

  7. P.S. Milly Molly Mandy books were my daughter’s absolute favorite read-alouds when she was little. We live in the U.S. and those books made anglophiles of both of us. Plus, they’re simply the sweetest.

    1. Milly Molly Mandy is wonderful. I longed to live in her village when I was a child and had such a clear picture of how it would look. I have been to several English villages that were almost perfect Milly Molly Mandy villages. Last year, the stories inspired my middle daughter’s radish and pumpkin planting. I’m still looking for the perfect pink and white striped cotton fabric to make her a dress, before she is too much older. (We’re fans too!)

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