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Making memories -- and books


Advice and strategies to help your children read

Editor's Note: Jerdine Nolen today discusses how to make a book. Her column runs bi-weekly.

Books are not only fun to read, they are fun to make. Making books is a good way to record an event or hold onto a memory. Fill pages with poetry, photographs or a made up story with pictures.

Cover Materials and Supplies

Choose from:

Construction paper, poster board, cardboard, file folders

Cardboard cut into the shapes of animals or objects

Cardboard covered with contact paper (or laminated), wallpaper, cloth or wrapping paper

For bound books, the covering is one piece extending over the front, spine and back of the book.

Keep these handy:

Crayons, scissors, ruler, pencils, markers, tape, staples / stapler, hole-puncher

Binding Instructions

Depending on what kind of book you're making, choose from the following methods:

Staple pages and cover. Then bind with heavy tape durability.

Punch holes in the pages and cover. Use notebook or shower curtain rings to hold together.

Use the cover as a template for the shape of the pages. Bind the pages and cover together with tape, rings, or staples.

Fold pages accordion style. When using wrapping paper or wallpaper, the printed side could be used for the front and back cover and the unprinted side for text and art.

Pages can be covered with contact paper or laminated. Bind pages to the cover with tape or glue.

You can also make bound books. Fold your paper in half. Write your story. Draw and / or color in your pictures. Sew in the center pages inside the spine of the cover. Glue the unprinted backs of each page onto the hard cover.

For more ideas, check out these books:

"How A Book is Made" by Aliki

"Author: A True Story" by Helen Lester

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Take-out food for thought

Don't have time to go through the stacks with toddlers in tow? Take-out food for thought is now available. Get in the express lane before other parents and head to any branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library for pre-picked selections for your little ones compiled by head children's librarian Selma Levi.

Nicknamed "Pre-C To Go" -- Pre-school curriculum to go -- each package consists of four to five books (hardcover, paperback and boardbooks), audio tapes and a tip sheet for expanded reading activities specially geared toward one of six themes. Parents can choose from packages about:





Community helpers (police, firemen, doctors)


A questionnaire is also enclosed for parents, day care centers and home day-care providers to give feedback. Each set is put into a handy container for your convenience. Thirty (five of each theme) are available at the Central Library and over 120 others are spread throughout the Pratt system.

-- Athima Chansanchai

New York Times Best Sellers: Children's picture books

Editor's Note: The New York Times has divided the children's best-seller list into three categories, which will be published in rotation. This list covers picture books, and the next two weeks' lists will cover children's chapter books and children's paperbacks, respectively.

1. "Wemberly Worried" by Kevin Henkes. (weeks on list: 5)

2. "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss. (186)

3. "How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?" by Jane Yolen. (6)

4. "Emily's First 100 Days of School" by Rosemary Wells. (2)

5. "Eloise's Guide to Life" by Kay Thompson. (7)

6. "Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?" by Eric Carle. (4)

7. "The Quiltmaker's Gift" by Jeff Brumbeau. (2)

8. "Joseph Had a Little Overcoat" by Simms Taback. (6)

9. "Sally Goes to the Beach" by Stephen Huneck. (1)

10. "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" by Doreen Cronin. (2)

Contact us

The Sun invites readers to send in tips about encouraging children to read, and we will print them on this page or on, our place on the Internet. Please include your name, town and daytime phone number. Send suggestions by fax to 410-783-2519; by e-mail to; or by mail to Reading by 9 Parent Tips, The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

On Wednesdays: The Just for Kids section with read-aloud story, puzzles and poster

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