September 14th, 2010
This year award-winning author and illustrator Debra Frasier developed a marvelous literacy outreach concept, a Fabulous Fair Alphabet Game, to be played by children at fairs. If they complete the game card, they win a blue ribbon. The game idea sprang from her new book The Fabulous Fair Alphabet. She tried the game last month at The Minnesota State Fair, that's Debra at the fair on the left of the picture to the right. Over 1.7 million people visited the fair and the game was an incredible success. You can read a story and see more pictures from the fair here . The exciting thing is that Debra was looking to try the game out at a smaller fair, and partnered with DDG to help bring it to Farmington. Working with the wonderful folks at The Mallett School we have arranged for all the kids at the school to have a chance to play the game at The Farmington Fair, and to be among the first in the country to play it. I caught up with Debra to see if we could get some more information...
KB: Well Debra, thanks to your generosity every Early Elementary School age child in Farmington will have the chance to play The Fabulous Fair Alphabet Game at The Farmington State Fair. The community is wildly excited and appreciative of course, however that doesn't mean we can avoid asking for your take on the controversial "X Issue." Now in playing the Fair Game children and familes will be looking for words in what they see, hear, read, feel, and eat, that start with the letters in the Alphabet. The letter X presents a problem as nothing in the Fair starts with X. In the Fair Game you have a nice work around, asking children to collect a word that contains an X, such as exit. Many people, however, feel that a stronger solution is needed, such as officially changing the name of Sheep to Xeep, or developing a thrilling and dangerous new ride evolving running across multicolored metal slats and dodging giant round mallets, called The Xylophone. What is your position on the "X Issue?
Debra: I think it is time to make an entire Fair devoted to X! How about X-donuts: the more you eat the more weight you LOSE. Or how about the X-Slide, you go down, you go up. Or the X-Coaster, the only rollercoaster that only goes BACKWARDS. What would the X-Bungee Jumper look like? Here’s my challenge to your schools: Let’s design the X Fair, where everything is exactly “X” ish!
KB: Xactly! Now if you only had time to do three things at the fair, what would they be?
Debra: Play Flip-A-Frog, ride the open “Sky Glider,” look for the “Longest Bean” winner. Then repeat.
KB: Speaking of the longest bean, you are the writer in residence of The Minnesota State Fair, and it seems that each fair has its own food specialty. The Farmington Fair prides itself on its Bloomin Onions, gigantic onions cut to be shaped like a flower, rolled in flour and then deep fried. Is there a specialty from The Minnesota State Fair that we should know about?
Debra: Cheese Curds! They fry a zillion of them: little bits of cheese dipped in batter and then deep-fried. My daughter LOVES them. For me: a hot baked potato with a big dollop of butter, nothing else, in a little dish I can carry around while I look for the longest bean. Minnesota is known for putting EVERYTHING on a stick. You can even get key lime pie on a stick. Or pot roast…Oh—Roasted corn! Don’t forget that!
KB: At the Minnesota State Fair you had the chance to play the fair game with over 1.75 million people. Amazing! I understand that some kind of Fair Dictionary is coming out of your experience. Can you tell us a little about that?
Debra: We played the Find YOUR Fabulous Fair Alphabet for all twelve days of the Minnesota State Fair. As each player brought in their word game cards (two words for each letter of the alphabet), we recorded the new words in a giant dictionary. Everyday the dictionary grew larger and larger. It got harder to find a new word as time went by but EVERY SINGLE DAY, even on the twelfth day, in the last hour, we STILL had new words to add. Everyone sees the world differently and so we could grow the Fair Dictionary with each person’s experience of the fair. Remember: bring words you see, hear, smell, taste, or feel at the Fair. I cannot wait to read Farmington’s dictionary of your fair. Stuck on finding a word for a particular letter? The Fair Dictionary is also a place to scan the words and see if can find just the word you need!
KB: I don't suppose that The Fabulous Fair Alphabet Game has a motto?
Debra: It does! The motto is..."Leave the fair with more words than you brought!"
KB: We will! Thanks Debra!
Here they are! Our weekly picks for the two best: two hardcover, two paperback, and two children's books. The very best new arrivals to leap out of the box and onto our shelves this week. Call or email us if you want more information on any of these titles, or to have us hold you a copy. Or stop in and check them out in person. We'd love to see you. Thanks as always for sharing your reading with us!
Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the
By Casey, Susan
2010-09 - Doubleday Books
9780767928847 - Hardcover See Other Formats
List Price $27.95 - Your Price: $22.36
This non fiction
account of a 'tribe of extreme surfers and their quest
for the 100 foot wave comes praised as a terrific
portrait of nature both human and oceanic. ...More
By Evanovich, Janet
2010-09 - St. Martin's Press
9780312652913 - Hardcover See Other Formats
List Price $27.99 - Your Price: $22.39
This is a new series
for Evanovich starring Plum spin-off character Diesel.
The plot is hilarious. It deals with "The Seven Stones
of Power" each representing one of the seven deadly
sins. Hmmmn! ...More
By Harvell, Richard
2010-09 - Shaye Areheart Books
9780307590527 - Hardcover See Other Formats
List Price $24.00 - Your Price: $19.20
There is nothing quite
like being in the hands of a dangerously unreliable
first person narrator, and this highly praised first
novel, the account of an acclaimed opera singer with an
impossible past, promises an experience along the
enjoyable lines of Debt to To Pleasure
and Perfume. ...More
By Nelson, Marilyn
2010-09 - Candlewick Press (MA)
9780763626679 - Hardcover
List Price $16.99 - Your Price: $13.59
Snook Alone is the
tale of a beloved rat terrier, the companion of a gentle
Monk living in a faraway sea, who has been asked to
catalog the plant and animal species of their small part
of the Indian ocean. Snook, marooned by rough weather,
must wait out the storm alone. The more a child
identifies with a character the deeper into the book
they go. Between the engaging and evocative text of
Marilyn Nelson and the sublimely beautiful and emotive
drawings of Timothy Basil Ering, Snook Alone is one of
these rare books in which a child not only wades deep,
but comes out deeply laden. The warmth of affection, the
beauty of the Indian Ocean, the wonder of exploration,
the tension of waiting, are all captured superbly in
this marvel of a picture book. ...More
Journal: A Reading Log for Kids (and Their Parents)
By Potter Style
2010-09 - Potter Style
9780307408266 - Other
List Price $12.99 - Your Price: $10.39
This book log for
children is a really nice item. As the publisher copy
By DiCamillo, Kate
2010-09 - Candlewick Press (MA)
9780763632663 - Hardcover
List Price $15.99 - Your Price: $12.79
It would be totally Reckless not to mention the new
Cornelia Funke book released today, which has gotten so
many raves, however Bink and Golly, this
wonderful collaboration by real life author friends
McGee and DiCamillo, is so charming, and such a treat
for young readers, that Reckless will
have to take a back seat in terms of our final slot for
the week. Bink and Golly is a friendship
book that kids will want to share many times. ...More
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