So I started a Magic Tree House book club for kids early last fall and with each passing month I look forward to it even more. Each month we read a different Magic Tree House book by Mary Pope Osborne, discuss the book, eat a themed snack, and then do an activity or two. But we always end with a hunt for a sticker to put in our passports. I put quite a bit of time into making these passports and the kids LOVE them so it was all worth it. They get to put down the date of their “adventure”, answer a question in relation to the book and then add their sticker.
This month we got to read Leprechaun in Late Winter which was a great book we all enjoyed. It was a story about an interesting, but not very well known (to me anyway) lady from Irish history, Augusta, later known as Lady Gregory. I won’t give away what she becomes in case anyone doesn’t know, because this story kept me guessing until the end and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.
Jack and Annie are taken back in time and transported to Ireland to help Augusta for reasons unknown to them, but through a series of trial and error, and of course high adventure they find out their purpose and get the job done, putting Augusta on the right path. A lesson about how helping others doesn’t always translate into being a good person if you aren’t very nice is also thrown into the story, which I thought was a nice added element. A lot of attention is given to the si (pronounced shee) or fairies of Irish folktales which was a lot of fun for the kids and I to read about. This was a great adventure story, especially for this time of year, enjoyed by all who attended (including myself).
I also highly recommend getting the companion book, Leprechauns and Irish Folklore by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce with Leprechaun in Late Winter though. I brought this book to show the kids a few other interesting facts and some neat pictures, but we ended up going over our typical time length because everyone was sooo interested in it! I ended up reading different sections about people who recorded Irish folktales because they wanted to know more about them. But, their favorite part (and mine too) was where descriptions and illustrations were given about different kinds of fairies. Everyone who attended ended up requesting their own copy so they could learn more, which was so AWESOME!
After all of our discussing, we did a rainbow experiment which was listed in the back of the paperback edition of Leprechauns in Late Winter. (If you don’t have this edition of the book similar instructions are given at this website.) All that is needed for the experiment is a bowl, 2% milk (whole milk may work better though), food coloring, and liquid dish soap, so it was pretty easy to come by all the supplies. We poured a thin layer of milk in the bowl and then added two drops of different colored food coloring around the edge of the bowl. Finally, we added a couple drops of the dish soap and watched the magic happen. It did take a few minutes for all of the colors to mix together like the experiment explains, but the longer it sits, the cooler it looks.
Then we made shee homes! For this project we took toilet paper tubes covered them in construction paper, used a muffin wrapper for the roof, and then let our creativity go crazy for the decorations! I laid out pipe cleaners, sequins, construction paper, and tissue paper and the kids came up with some pretty unique shee houses!
And of course we ended with our hunt for passport stickers! This month they were four leaf clovers 🙂
Does anyone else no of great Junior Fiction novels to base a book club off of? I’m thinking of trying out a different series in the fall.