Book fair week is more than selling books. Over the years it’s turned into a solid Seed tradition that somehow gets better every year. It’s a community event that brings people together, supports literacy and has become a rite of passage into spring. Coordinated by our hard working APA team and supported by staff, thoughtfulness goes into all aspects of the planning and implementation of our book fair. Word on the street has it that ours is one of the more successful fairs, surprising to some because we are a small school. It’s not surprising to me, given all the preparation that happens prior to and during the week.
Book selection is important and the committee monitors the quality of books that fill the shelves. There’s a good blend of children’s favorite authors such as Mo Willems, J. K Rowling and Lane Smith. Favorite characters can also be found on the shelves, book friends like Clifford, Skippyjon Jones, Big Nate and Pete the Cat. Collections of annual world records are always popular, as well as do-it-yourself science books. There’s always a selection of pop culture books and those based on recent movies. Now the book fair even has an online shopping option for shoppers who can’t make it to the school. It’s a far cry from my childhood days in elementary school when we waited with huge anticipation for the our monthly orders to arrive in the mail.
As I said, though, it’s not just about the books. Each year there is a predetermined theme, which we respond to in our Seed-like way. This year’s is FIESTA. All classes and the after school program make decorations, which take on a life of their own. Among this year’s creations are flour and salt dough chiles, paper bowl suns, and (my favorite of the year) a plate of paper tacos garnished with shredded paper cheese. Decorations hang at the book fair entrance for ambience enhancement. They also serve as a lead-in to the culminating event, the Thursday family night.
Besides being fun to come to the Seed at night, it’s the last opportunity to purchase books while children are engaged in a variety of activities. This year’s fiesta line-up is sure to surpass anything offered before. For a starter, there will be a piñata on the patio along with Mexican music and macarena dance moves. For the crafty at heart, children can decorate maracas and make a paper sombrero in the hallways. You can come dressed in your finest fiesta attire and have your picture taken with “Cliffardo.” Salsa and chips will be served to curb appetites generated from estimating tortillas, rolling up in a life-size burrito or dancing on the toddler playground. The grande finale will include poster and prize give-aways and breaking the piñata.
In the coming weeks, after book cases have been loaded up and returned to the warehouse to prep for other book fairs, our students will enjoy their new classroom texts. Studies will be enhanced by new books and bedtime stories will likely include books from this year’s collection. It’s good to know that such an enjoyable week will also have a far reaching impact in the literary lives of our Awakening Seeds.