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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 3 Day 4

Published on July 28, 2016

Hard to believe how fast this week is flying by, but Day 4 was a ton of fun! In the morning, we played a few quick pantomime games on the Thalia stage before doing some drawing activities at the tables in the cafe. We used a few shapes (square, triangle, etc) to create a character. The shape functioned as the character’s body. Everyone made some really creative, imaginative drawings.

After the morning activity, we went into the camp room to meet our guest author: Chris Grabenstein! He was so full of energy right away and told us all about the many books he’s written (some he’s coauthored with James Patterson!) He then asked us to collaborate in a storytelling activity. To emphasize the importance of verbs, he asked four campers to volunteer and act out many different synonyms for “walk.” They marched, strutted, and pranced across the camp room!


Chris then explained that sometimes his story inspirations can come from Internet pictures. He found a wacky photo of a water-skiing squirrel and asked us to come up with the following information: the squirrel’s name, its ultimate goal, its antagonist, and the beginning and ending sentence. Using our suggestions, as well as his amazingly hilarious improvisational comedy skills, Chris created a story (on the spot!) about Sam the Squirrel’s dream to water-ski in the Olympics. His antagonist was a peanut butter sandwich! However, every antagonist needs their own motivation: in this case, Sam had eaten the sandwich’s brother!

After the storytelling exercise, Chris answered some questions about The Island of Dr. Libris, as well as his other books (upcoming and previously published.) We took an author photo and had all our books signed before heading to Riverside Park for lunch.





We enjoyed our shade, our Apples to Apples, and our Capture the Flag before heading out on our field trip to the Cooper Hewitt Museum! We split up into groups and went to every floor of the museum with an Interactive Pen, where we could save the things we looked at and/or designed ourselves to an online gallery on the Cooper Hewitt website. One floor was dedicated to a Pixar exhibition. We got to learn about the creation of characters, as well as drawing some of our own! It was really interactive and fun.




On the second floor, the most exciting activity was called the Immersion Room. Using a special screen, campers drew their own funky designs and watched as their designs were projected onto the walls of the room (and even on some of our faces!) It was so cool to watch the wallpaper change designs!




The other exhibits showed some crazy fashion trends and “pop art” furniture from several decades ago. It was such a diverse collection of exhibits!





No one wanted to leave the museum (we were all having way too much fun) but alas, we hopped a crosstown bus back to Symphony Space for dismissal.

We’re sad the final day is tomorrow, but looking forward to meeting Corey Ann Haydu!

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