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Thalia Book Club Camp offers up-close interaction with renowned children's book authors and illustrators, book discussions, and book-related field trips around the city. This blog follows the camp's activities.

Thalia Book Club Camp Week 2 Day 3

Published on July 20, 2016

Day 3 began on the Thalia stage with a fun game led by one of our counselors. Relying heavily on teamwork, campers had to snatch a ring of keys from one side of the stage and, without being seen by the counselor, return the keys to the other side of the stage. It was a little like Red Light/Green Light, but more fun! We played a few rounds, and one round in particular was a bit of a challenge: in order to win the game, EVERYONE on the team had to hold the keys at least once before returning to the other side.

After the game, in preparation for The Dragon of Trelian with our author guest, we were given foam eggs and thumbtacks (we were very careful handling them)! Using these materials, we made our very own “dragon egg”! The thumbtacks were all different colors (even gold and silver!) and looked like scales. Everyone made a really pretty and unique dragon egg to keep.


After making our dragon eggs, we met our author of the day: Michelle Knudsen. She told us her inspiration for the book: one image! She originally envisioned two characters standing at a window, and that sparked the idea for the novel. She used this image to ask us to create our own scenes of characters at a window – what do they see? How do they know each other? Where are they? We also drew a dragon of our very own, either entirely from our imagination, or inspired by the dragon images Michelle showed us. It was really fun and imaginative. Everyone’s dragon illustration looked different!


After the writing and drawing activity, Michelle told us her opinions about the book covers of the whole series. At first she didn’t love the hardcover edition, so it was changed for the paperback. But soon all the books will be reissued, and the new covers are her favorite because they’re simple, pretty, and all look very similar!

After a group photo and book signing, we spent a luxuriously long day in the park playing card games as well as Capture the Flag before our surprise afternoon guest!


Some campers correctly guessed our afternoon visitor would be a magician! Matias Letelier came to teach us some cool magic tricks and also to explain how he began doing magic as a young boy growing up in Chile. He explained that to be a really good magician, we have to focus on storytelling and communication. The way we tell our ‘story,’ or introduce our trick, is so important! For the first trick, Matias asked us to think of any number between 1-30. He walked around and guessed every number correctly! Using a cool diagram of numbers, Matias taught us how to use simple math to guess someone’s number correctly every single time. Math and numbers are rarely used at book camp, but it’s so cool to see how magic, storytelling, and math all intersect!


After the magician, we had some free time for games or reading, but we ended the day with a poem activity using a random page of one of the five books we read this week. In order to create a poem, we picked a page from a book, and then a few words from the book, and from these components everyone created a ‘found’ poem. The final step was to block out (in black marker) all the words that weren’t used. Once we did that, a cool pattern or design emerged, and we were able to turn the poem into a piece of artwork, too!

It was a really great day. We’re looking forward to meeting Emily Jenkins tomorrow, and excited about our field trip to Bank St. Bookstore.

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