Curious City believes strongly that when you engage young readers with the story beyond the page, you build more committed readers. When an author, illustrator, or publisher provides children’s programmers with Event Kits and Story Hour Kits, they are not only creating stronger readers, but also creating strong marketing for a title.
Curious City is known for their Event Kits and Story Hour Kits which are offered free to librarians, educators, literacy specialists, parents, and other children’s book programmers on our sister website, Curious City DPW (Department of Public Works).
These kits allow children’s book programmers to play with the rich content of your book and thus share your book with large groups of students and families at their events. The kit continues to work for you and your book while you sit at your desk creating the next grand one.
Below are some of our past projects.
Adopt a Zoo Animal
We use the picture book’s story of a seemingly awkward adoption of a platypus by a duck as a opportuntiy to talk about with readers about how zoos use inter-species adoption and other techniques to support baby animals.
In the Adopt a Zoo Animal game, readers first solve riddles (written by the picture book’s droll creator Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen) that reveal which zoo animals are in need of help through adoption. Riddle solved and armed with a sheaf of adoption papers, readers head off to find a poster of that animal (posted by an actual zoo animal or a display of books about that animal). At the animal poster (created with additional illustrations from the book’s own Brian T. Jones), the reader pastes a picture of the animal onto their adoption papers and makes notes about the animal–modeling that to help animals you have to be informed. Readers leave with the adoption papers including a list of ways to help real zoo and endangered animals. View & Download.
Stink-O-Rama: An Event Kit of Games That Don’t Stink
Happy to have lent our game design and copy to Candlewick Press for a larger event kit celebrating Megan McDonald’s Stink series (illustrated by Peter Reynolds). Look for our work in Sniff it Out: Hunt for Stink’s Treasure, The Walking Stink-O-Pedia: Test your Stink I.Q., Stink’s Solar System Superhero Scramble, and Stink’s Cross-the-Solar-System Crossword. View & Download
Circus Story Hour
This event kit allows a children’s programmer to add Big Top elements to a story hour by using Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s picture book, Tightrope Poppy: The High-Wire Pig (Sterling Publishing). We extracted the ringmaster character, Zig E. Zailey from the book and use him as the host of the event. Through simple face painting, costume making, and a (very low) high-wire act, Zig E. Zailey invites young readers (aka story hour attendees) in to circus try outs. View & Download
For Grace Lin’s Newbery Honor book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon we created an event kit that allows a reader to play the role of central character, Minli. They mirror Minli’s quest to find the Old Man of the Moon to solicit his help in changing her family’s fortune. Readers are given a bag of tools and as they journey through the room are given 10 puzzles to solve. They solve the puzzles by using items in their tool bag or things they pick up along the way. In the end they are rewarded with a mysterious gift, the meaning of which can only be determined by reading the book. View & Download
Dragon Egg Hunt
Author, Sarah L. Thomson and Curious City devised an event where young readers protect a dragon’s egg by solving runes and collecting dragon fact cards. As readers deliver the egg safely at the end of the game, they are surprised by the egg’s hatching. The event kit allows bookstores and libraries to feature Sarah’s novel, Dragon Egg and to highlight the rest of their dragon book collection. View & Download
The Hog Prince Puzzle: A Fairy Tale Event
The humorous misunderstanding in the book, The Hog Prince by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (Penguin Group USA), is set off by a confused Fairy God Mother (FGM). The event takes young readers on a journey from being turned into a pig by the misguided FGM to being turned back into the prince or princess that they are. The transformation can only occur after the young pigs solve a series of rhyming riddles based on fairy tales. View & Download
Let’s Do Nothing: A Non-Activity Kit
Curious City did a whole lot of nothing for Tony Fucile‘s picture book, Let’s Do Nothing. Because the characters have worn themselves out by doing everything so they decide to try doing nothing for a change, Candlewick Press commissioned us to create an event kit for kids to gather and do, well, nothing. We created a series of challenges on staring, stillness, and the containment of giggling. And then we created our first ever board game–The Game of Nothing. View & Download
The Undersea Adventure Trivia Game
To introduce young readers to the characters in the all-ages graphic novel series, The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli by Jay Piscopo (Nemo Publishing), Curious City developed an ocean-based trivia game. As young readers solve trivia on a series of posters, they gather collectible cards. The complete set of cards allows readers to then play a card game with their friends. The card game was created by Ed Evans of All Things Fun!. To receive a free event kit contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.