Have you heard of Storywalk®? This is an opportunity for children and adults to read a story together entering an imaginary world while walking along a pathway or trail. The pages of the picture book are made into laminated signs that are hung in trees or attached to signposts. In our town, on Vancouver Island, B.C. we can borrow these from the public library but it would also be possible to make your own. The cost of colour photocopying and laminating all those pages gets expensive so borrowing them is much more do-able plus there are copyright issues. The other alternative would be to buy two books and take them apart to make the posters.
I was so excited to borrow my first Storywalk® last week! I got the story Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers which is such a cute story and perfect as it is about a journey. There were 31 signs to hang up for our walk. So many signs that I couldn’t fit them all on our preschool property so I had them going down the street for about half a block and then on the property of our local library.
We took our preschool class in small groups to really enjoy the walk. I thought about 3-4 children was ideal for a group size.
And, as expected, it was a wonderful experience. We journeyed with penguin and the boy as we read each page of the book.
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction because at the end of the morning when I went to collect the signs, there were 7 missing! Now I had tied them securely in place and it was not a windy day so although I’m not certain, someone seemed to have taken them away as they were nowhere to be found! Have you caught the irony yet? The story “Lost and Found” is now lost. Will it be found? I do not know yet. Each sign has a label on the back of the library it came from so perhaps if it is someone kind who removed/found the signs, they that person will return them.
As I drove to the library to return the Storywalk®, I wasn’t sure what the response would be. I was pretty sure I would be charged for the missing pages but in another odd turn of events, the library had no record of me ever checking out the story in the first place. The Storywalk® Lost and Found was labelled as “missing”. I found this very odd as I was even given a printout with the return date. So it seems perhaps I won’t be charged?
I thought the library would never let me have another one but I did have another on hold and they agreed to let me take it. Here it is!
I guess this time I better hold on to my teddy bear; and all other teddy bears in the vicinity! Believe me, I will be keeping a close eye on those signs this time!
“You have to get lost before you can be found.” -Jeff Rasley
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