Community Book Week brings characters to life at Mallett School

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The annual Book Character parade at W.G. Mallett School brings princesses, Jedi and Iron Man to Community Book Week. (Photo by Ben Hanstein)
The annual Book Character parade at W.G. Mallett School brings princesses, Jedi and Iron Man to Community Book Week. (Photo by Ben Hanstein)

FARMINGTON  – Mallett School’s Prime Time Reading, aka Jammie Night, is my favorite event of the year. Obviously.  After all it has some of the best ingredients an event could have: a shared love of reading, widespread community support and partnerships, pajamas, great authors, a great crowd, and amazing decorations.

Author Elizabeth Bluemle thrills the crowd at a Jammie Night from years past.

Here’s how it works: The Mallett community comes back to school at 6 p.m.; parents, kids, teachers, librarian, principal, all dressed in the pajamas for an evening of read-alouds. I produce a children’s book author. The evening starts with that author reading her book to the assembled throng in the gymnasium, which has been lavishly decorated around the book’s theme. Afterwards, families can either go listen to one of five different community readers in five different classrooms, read together in the gym, or purchase a book and have the guest author sign it. The evening ends with the author reading a second book to the whole audience and then concludes with goodnights and more book signing.

The headliner of the 2015 event was the great and wonderful author, Cynthia Lord. Given that Mallet School, which is a K-2 school, the focus on the evening was on her Hot Rod Hamster picture books and early readers. First let’s take a tour of the gym to see the decorations before any of the families had arrived.

These amazing decorations were the work of a team spearheaded by Mallet’s fab librarian Amanda Paradis Roberts.

Not only had Amanda, pictured here in her hamster pajamas, carried out the gym decorations, she had planned to bring in a big surprise out front….

Actual Hot Rod Monster Trucks!

Here’s Cynthia making the scene and greeting some early attendees!

Before everyone piled into the gymnasium, book sales and signing was positively frenetic.

Everything was ready. Now to introduce Cynthia!

And did she deliver?

That would be yes! Hot Rod books are all about helping the hamster choose form sets of things, tires, popsicles, helmets, and balloons. The kids chose and cheered!

And their parents had a big time too.

Afterwards, it was time to sign more books and say good night. As Cynthia said, “what a wonderful and fun evening. It’s incredibly cute to see all the kids in their pajamas!” It really was a great night. Thanks, everybody!

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