Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A journey through Storyland at the UHM

June saw the opening of a new exhibit - Storyland: A Trip ­through Childhood Favorites - at one of our favorite museums here in Greenville, the Upcountry History Museum! The GHS-sponsored, bilingual adventure allows visitors to step into the pages of classic children's literature, featuring seven books that include favorites If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

The traveling exhibit is geared towards children ages 0-8, with matching, rhyming, poetry and storytelling activities. All three boys kept themselves occupied during our two-hour stay, which is about how long it took to fully explore all seven books.

All three boys spent a significant amount of time at the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault) palm, sending letters up the tree only to have them tumble back down, just as in the book.

The Snowy Day (author Ezra Jack Keats) had a beautiful snowy vista that encouraged visitors to build snowmen, make snow angels and to walk through the winter wonderland to the sound of their own footsteps crunching through the snow.

If YouGive a Mouse a Cookie (by Laura Numero) featured a station where the kids could write a note to Mouse, and a giant cookie – a sensory station with items from the book hidden in each chocolate chip.

Th­e Tale of Peter Rabbit (book by Beatrix Potter) was my favorite, with a perfect little rabbit (and toddler) sized house. The boys enjoyed gardening with Peter, and searching for the hidden puzzle pieces that fit in various spots throughout.

Where’s Spot (Eric Hill) garnered the most attention from Vilis, who insisted on lugging Spot around to all the other exhibits...

The book Tuesday (author David Wiesner) was previously unfamiliar to me. The story of a Tuesday when frogs took to the air on their lily pads won the Caldecott Medal in 1992, and fit perfectly into Storyland with a percussion wall and clock activity.

Finally we read about Abuela (by Arthur Dorros), with Rosalba and her grandmother flying high above the heads of the children while they wrote shopping lists and helped stock the shelves of the store.

Storyland: A Trip ­through Childhood Favorites will be at the Upcountry History Museum through September 11th, and should be added to your summer bucket list for a visit on one of those hot, southern days. Relive your favorite childhood books while the kids learn the joy and power of reading through play, and don’t forget to stop by the library next door before you head home – maybe you want to take one or two of the featured books home?

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