Monstrous March

Yetis and Bigfoots and dragons – oh my! It’s Monstrous March!

Monstrous March came about as a result of reading Bryce’s Cryptozoological program, and Rebecca’s (not me) Draw a Yeti self-directed program. I was like “I should do a crypto month!” And they were like “YES!” (after I shared my thought with them – they’re not psychic…at least I don’t think that they are…).

This has been an unbelievably fun month, and I’m super-excited to share all that we did. And we did a lot – mainly because we had a fantastic practicum student helping us out whose focus was on children’s programming: yippee! (Thanks, Sami!)

We found out that we could get a Wild Thing costume, and so the big finale of this month is a Wild Rumpus. I made a fun flyer, and wanted to share the bare bones of it so that you can use it if you’d like. Just click on the blank sign below to download the jpeg.

The front windows were a mashup of Davide Cali and Gabriella Giandelli’s Monsters and Legends ‘ cover art, and Maurice Sendak’s style. I then was then greatly inspired by Aunt Peach’s Heart Punch Garlands in terms of how to make the scales.

We have very little space to work, therefore we got a bit creative while making the dragon scales. Behold! Insta-coffee filter drying lines! It’s just string held up by big gobs of sticky tac in one of our office window:

We went through two packs of the smallest coffee filters that we could find (so, 250 filters were colored). A lot of them had a shimmery quality to them – I found some liquid watercolors with pearlescence. Once they were colored and dried, we chopped them in half using the paper cutter, and threw them into a basket.

Then, we used a full roll and-a-half of packing tape to tape the scales up in the windows. The face, tail, and fringe are all tissue paper, with a small section of black poster board for its face.

It’s always a challenge to try and get a good picture of the exterior. I used this shot because you can see the office window to the far right. You can sort of make out the end of the dragon’s purple tail, which extends to both the upper and lower windows.

Since the scales were within kid-reach, we went ahead and tried to take an angle where we actually encouraged the kids to touch them, but gently.

I’ve only seen two kids be a bit rough, but the moms intervened pretty quickly and explained what to do.

And this window display has gotten an unusual BIG reaction with variations on this: “Are you open? It looks like you’re closed.” I’d think that if we got shut down, then we wouldn’t take hours to do an elaborate/colorful “shuttering” of the windows. But I’ll keep this reaction in mind with future displays.

It’s also been really fun watching both kids and parents gently pet the dragon, then go up to his head and whisper. A lot of parents have also complimented us not only on the window, but on all of the work that we do to make our library a fun place to visit every month. Yay!

Brittany knocked the Great Wall-O-Pun out of the park this month:

Both the book and the monster are 3D.

I brought in my personal stash of extra fake fur scraps for her to sew into the cute monster. Lots of kids were excited about her sewing, and wanted to know what was happening.

And yes, the book has paintbrush limbs.

These guys are pretty heavy, and I we’ve had to re-stick them up on the wall several times throughout the month.

Our simple “monster-type” display for our reading bench.

Then, taking a cue from how fun the life-sized Clifford the Big Red Dog feet were, I created Bigfoot feet in our activity area. There were several, spaced out to replicate its theoretical stride.

I’ve heard a lot of parents stop and read what I wrote about the debate of whether or not Bigfoot is real, and how we came up with the estimated size and stride of these feet.

Sami created both a fun name generator and our scavenger hunt this month!

Get your own Monster Name Generator by clicking on either of these images.

For the scavenger hunt, several kids complained that the Bigfoot that they were to find was small. We’ve gotten pretty good at explaining how he had to shrink down, otherwise he’d smash everything up, and so he wanted to be extra-careful and might have overdone the shrinking. Heh.

I made a cute version of our dragon mascot for some marketing, trying to make him as Maurice Sendak-ey as possible.

I brought in my three Wall Monsters that I made in the very early days of Hafuboti. We placed them on the inside ledge of our office windows, looking out to 1. keep them safe, and 2. help timid kids feel safe that they were “contained.”

Those received a great response from both parents and kids – with one memorable little girl giving them major side-eye.

Then, we made our own Draw A Yeti book and coloring sheet:

But only two kids have used it that way. The majority use the space as a face or even the body!

Here are a few of my favorites:

This has been pop-u-lar!

The one thing that I didn’t anticipate was how creative the kids would be (you’d think that I would know by now). I used the outline of our library’s logo to create the “drawing space” for the yeti.

The one on the lower right might be my most favorite because the little boy who brought it up to us had his imagination on overdrive. He explained how the yeti was holding a guy and was going to eat him up in one bite. There was much more to that gruesome story, but needless to say, I think that we all hid our smiles pretty well.

Click on the framed image to the right in order to get your very own Yeti Passive Coloring Program.

That about covers Monstrous March. I thought that it would be pretty fun, but it has been wildly fun!

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