Making Books with My Nephews
December 3rd, 2011 | Link
I go back to Calgary a couple of times a year. Whenever I visit we have a family dinner, which, between my parents and five siblings and assorted spouses and seven nieces and nephews (five of whom are 10 years old or under), tends to be a chaotic event with lots of catching up to do.
Last weekend the event was at my brother’s place, and I got to spend a little time with my nephews before everyone else arrived. The six-year-old, Reece, was in the playroom drawing, and I asked him if he wanted me to make him a book. He got really excited and gathered a handful of large index cards for me, and tape, and scissors. When I told him I was only going to use one piece of paper and no tape and he was pretty skeptical.
(I have to be honest here: the day before I flew up to Calgary I quickly learned a few single-sheet structures, just in case I got a chance to do this. The pamphlet Books from a Single Sheet of Paper from the web site Bookmaking with Kids has a half-dozen simple structures — including those I used.)
I started out with a book that the BWK pamphlet calls a center cut accordion. Reece wasn’t interested in making the actual book (when it was done he asked me to write “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” on the cover and then he handed me another piece of paper and asked me to make one for “Cars”), but while I was working on it his eight-year-old brother Will asked me to show him how to make one. He had a little trouble matching the corners up but it turned out just fine.
Reece wanted another book, so I asked if I should make a “pants book” (dubbed the long cut accordion in the BWK pamphlet — it looks like a pair of pants when unfolded). This got both boys giggling and they thought definitely I should make a pants book. So I made that, and then a simple accordion, and then an accordion with pockets so Reece could put things in the pockets, and then another pocket accordion shaped like a row of houses — so we made paper dolls to put in the house pockets. The dolls had abnormally enormous heads, so Will and I dubbed them Brainiacs.
It was half an hour. I think they had fun. They’re old enough now to remember me when they see me, so I think it would be cool if they remembered me as the auntie that made books.