Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lissy's Friends (and mine too)

Lissy has an origami turtle on her lap

I'm gearing up for my second public storytelling performance with a guitar. Tomorrow, at 10:30 am PST, I'll be at Bootyland. That's why I've been so quiet on the blog front. Still, how could I help but shout for joy when I received my special prize from Grace Lin as part of MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge? On Saturday, I received a copy of Lissy's Friends with an accompanying dolly. The story is about a little girl named Lissy who experiences isolation at school until she starts to make origami friends. The ending is a happy one (it involves human friends too!), and the last page demonstrates how to fold a paper-crane.

MotherReader and Tadmack (the 48 Hour Book Challenge winner for most hours spent reading), how did you know this book was the perfect gift for me? I have been interested in origami for much of my life, but didn't seriously attempt it until my first professional library job, when I decided that I needed to learn a craft I actually enjoyed for those wretched "bunny-cutting" craft programs.* A friend of mine taught me how to make a paper crane, and and then I taught myself how to make a lily. I became obsessed. Then, I started sharing my obsession with others. Every time I had to lead a craft program, I taught origami. During the short time I ran my own children's room, I'd sometimes hand out origami paper and books** to restless children. Inevitably, they got so caught up in making paper animals that they had to convert their lined notebook paper into squares so that I'd have enough origami paper for craft programs.

The origami obsession ebbed a bit after I gave birth to Lucia. Still, I have all my origami books and am planning to teach her simple folding techniques in a year or two. In the meantime, we have Yoko's Paper Cranes and now Lissy's Friends.

Inside my copy of Lissy's Friends, Grace Lin inscribed, "To my friend Farida *aka Alkelda* In recognition of the "challenge" of the 48 Hour Book Challenge! Best wishes, Grace." Thank you, thank you, Grace Lin. (Expect a note from me soon.) And thank you, MotherReader and TadMack, for thinking of me.

*I appreciate craft programs when someone skilled in a particular area shares his or her expertise. Otherwise, I'd far rather hand children some crayons and paper rather than have them glue pre-cut shapes. I won't even go into all of the hours of your tax dollars wasted on my having to cut out laminated name-tags for 6 storytime sessions every six weeks.

**Recommended books:
Origami, by Hideaki Sakata (my gold standard of beginning origami books)
Paper Creations: Easy to Make Paper-Folding Projects, by Gay Merrill Gross
The Buck Book: All Sorts of Things to do with a Dollar Bill-Besides Spend It, by Anne Akers Johnson

For storytelling with origami, check out Just Enough to Make a Story: A Sourcebook for Storytelling, by Nancy Schimmel. And that reminds me that maybe it's time for me to bring back "The Rainhat" for my storytelling programs... maybe even for tomorrow's gig.


cloudscome said...

I adore this book. I am sending a copy and a doll to a friend who just brought her adopted daughter home from China.

I also love origami and teach it to kids at every opportunity. I TOTALLY agree with you about the foolishness of spending time and money prepackaging crafts for kids. Blank paper and crayons rock! Origami creations are like a miracle.

Yay for you winning such a great prize!

TadMack said...

I am so glad you liked it -- it seemed to go perfectly with your personality and your myriad storytelling/puppet having gigs.


Camille said...

My oldest child loved origami during her high school and college years. It relaxed her to pull out her books and fold amazing dragons and reindeer and elephants.

You won a great prize! Congratulations!

Lone Star Ma said...

Origami is so cool, but I find it very hard. My baby sister's class made tons of cranes and she tried to teach me and my MIL makes lovely creations and she tried to teach me, but I just can't learn. I'd like to but I can't keep the steps in my head or follow a book - I can only do step-by-step after a person.