My Big Helper has been talking about this month’s Chris Grabenstein book club event for weeks. She’s been counting down the days, then the hours, all while bouncing off the walls and carrying her invitation around with her endlessly.
She immediately began planning how we could turn our house into the Alexandriaville Public Library and begged to have an escape game similar the one that Mr. Lemoncello hosted.
So we got to work. I designed labels for Lemonberry Fizz and created a recipe for the drink that Mr. Lemoncello loves to guzzle. I also built the Wonder Dome, decorated the house, and filled in many other book details.
I printed out an anagram game that we could use for a Super Dooper Challenge and planted clues around the house. One of these bonus clues became the prize for the challenge.
Of course, we had to eat, too. Since the main characters attended a fancy gala to celebrate the library’s opening at the beginning of the book, I opted to serve a ‘fancy’ dinner. I made two kinds of fondue and served it with sautéed chicken, steamed veggies, and bread cubes on a color-coordinated table. The girls drank their icy water out of glass goblets and giggled every time they stuck out their pinky fingers.
Dessert had to be fondue, too, since it’s such a fun way to eat – although there are several dessert options in the book. My Big Helper loved the fruit platters and chocolate fondue; judging from the amount of chocolate on the other faces I saw, they liked it, too.
Throughout the course of the event, we played as many Lemoncello games as I could create. I made Indoor-Outdoor Scavenger Hunt cards, and the kids raced around the neighborhood to collect their items first. I created a label for Mr. Lemoncello’s Anagrams, and the girls raced to see who could make the most words with alphabet cookies. They also played our version of Hurry to the Top of the Heap with Lemoncello trivia.
Eventually, late that night, one team pieced together enough clues to escape the house – and they did so with lots of whooping and hollering and running around in the dark.
Their prize was to choose their parts in the next-day’s commercial. I gave them the task of creating a commercial to ‘sell’ Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library to other kids.
I’ve had myriads of technical difficulties in trying to share this. Their commercial plays well on my computer – I had to video that in order to show it to you. I apologize for the issues that remain.
Of course, we ended the party with a birthday cake, and since My Big Helper’s big day is close, we sang to her.
I spent hours designing the games, creating labels, and putting the details of the party together – so I’m happy to share them with you.
What are your kids reading now?