This month’s selection was The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz. On the way there, we like to play a little game to guess what activities the children’s librarian, Janelle Mattheus, will have us do that night to celebrate the book. This night, like so many others, was beyond our wildest guesses.
We walked into the “fairy land” auditorium in the basement of the library. It had a fairy curtain, twinkling lights and fairy music.
The girls were each given a lanyard with their name on them. On the lanyard, they placed a “Night Fairy” button that Janelle had made. Each month, they will receive a new button for their lanyard to mark the new book club book. At the end of the school year, it will be a souvenir of lots of good reads and fun nights together.
Next, we were directed to make our own “fairy food” in little flower cup cake liners. There was a tiny fairy spoon and lots of little treats like bit of honey and, the Night Fairy’s favorite, sunflower seeds.
We also had “nectar” that we drank from fairy straws.
The book discussion started with basic questions like, “Where did the Night Fairy live?” and “How did she out-smart the spider?” When girls volunteered a right answer, they received some “pollen” (a pixie stick.)
My favorite part of the discussion were questions mothers and daughters had to discuss together: In The Night Fairy, we learn that a fairy’s magic is strongest at the time of day that she was born. Find out what time you were born. Does that explain anything about you? My 11 year old was born at 2 a.m. She is now convinced that is why she is such a night owl. My 9 year old was born at dinner time. We decided that is why she loves 6:00 soccer games.
After the discussion, it was time for fairy crafts. The girls made their own little fairies from pipe cleaner, feathers, embroidery thread, and flowers.
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Then they decorated bird houses like the one that the Night Fairy lived in.
Finally, they put together fairy books with instructions on how to make fairy dust, a fairy boat, a fairy boat and fairy spells.
Just for fun, Janelle also made each of them fairy book marks and had little stickers for their birdhouses that read: “Souvenir of Niagra Falls.” (It’s a little detail you understand when you read the book.) It was tricky to walk to the car without dropping anything.
On the way home, I talked to the girls about why I enjoyed the book so much. In the first chapter Flory, the night fairy, loses her wings. This is the absolute WORST thing that can happen to a fairy. But because of this trial she becomes kind and resourceful and discovers powers within herself she didn’t know she had.
“Sometimes bad things happen. And it stinks. But those are the times you find out you can do things you never knew you could.”
“That’s cool Mom.”
This program is so popular, it is held two nights a month–one night for ages 7 to 8 year old’s and another for 9 to 12 year old’s. You can sign up online or in-person beginning the first day of each month. I am very biased towards Janelle at the Whitmore Library, but I know that they have the Mother-Daughter Book Club program in all the Salt Lake County Libraries.
If you have an elementary school age daughter, I wouldn’t miss these nights for anything.