Last winter I purchased my own Whatnot. A Whatnot is a Muppet Workshop creation from FAOSchwartz. Traci, our new librarian, went to NYC for the day before starting at our library and came back with a Whatnot Muppet. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted one! I wouldn’t stop creating them until I found the exact Whatnot for me. It was really fun.
I hemmed and hawed and hemmed some more, then I just bought it. When I opened the box, I was so excited — my own Whatnot. But then I looked. Oh no, I hated it. They did something wrong and she wasn’t what I pictured. A few phone calls to customer service, a bit of drama … and I ended up with Lucy Maud in a cheerleading costume. Ugh.
At first I didn’t know what to do with Lucy Maud. She literally sat in her cardboard box until August. I rued the day I purchased her.
Our library doesn’t have an official early literacy storytime. We focus on the joy of the literature and bringing books, songs, and silliness to the kids in our community. But with a new director comes new things. I volunteered to help create an early literacy storytime, using many of the techniques and ideas I’ve learned from Flannel Friday.
One day it came to me: we’re working on building vocabulary to the preschoolers in our community. New words and new experiences help children become better readers (as I understand it). So, in our experimental new early literacy story time, Lucy Maud will come out at the end of story time and discuss the letter of the day. Then, she will think very hard and declare her favorite word that starts with that letter. I think she’ll use it in a sentence. Then, if there is time, Lucy Maud can ask other boys and girls their favorite words that start with the Letter of the Day.
This is a new experience for me. I normally don’t have a puppet talk to me (Miss Mouse only whispers in my ear). I have to develop a voice for Lucy Maud. But, I’m pretty comfortable with her and the concept of being a Word Cheerleader.
Now? Now I think she’s kind of cute. And I’m glad I bought her.
Any other ideas? I’d love to hear them!