About 150 fifth grade Des Moines Public Schools students from Capitol View and McKinley Elementary participated in a fun-filled day on November 7 at the Des Moines Public Library, celebrating reading and literacy at the fourth annual Hands-On Book Fest for Kids. The students learned about the process of writing, illustrating, and binding a book. They also got to experience how paper is made and learned about the history of the book. Hands-on activities included rubber stamping, making paper, and impression rubbing.
The Hands-On Book Fest is a collaborative effort between the Des Moines Rotary Club, the Des Moines Public Library, the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Iowa Center for the Book, Everybody Wins Iowa, the Red Door Press, and the State Library of Iowa.
Staff from the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (ILBPH) Instructional Materials Center was on hand to display books in alternative media such as print/Braille and digital audio and to interact with the students through exploratory activities. Students had the opportunity to write their name in Braille using a slate and stylus and to touch tactile drawings.
Iowa’s award winning children’s author, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, was present and explained about the writing process. Illustrator Tim Read was also on hand and talked about the illustrating process.
The ILBPH has four Briggs Martin titles in print/ Braille and one in digital audio format in its collection. The titles were acquired from the National Library Service, U.S. Library of Congress. The author enthusiastically autographed the books including, Snowflake Bentley, a Caldecott Medal winner, The Water Gift, and The Pig of the Pig. She wrote later in her blog, “When I went to observe the braille book area I learned that five of my books are printed in Braille. And that was a thrill!”
Judging from the excitement level of the students, many smiles all around, and the positive comments from the event’s special guests, this year’s Hands-On Book Fest for Kids was a huge success.
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