More puppets! It’s an obsession!

Puppets 1

Bargain basement animal puppets at $3 each from The Reject Shop, Penrith Plaza. Not sure why the Dalmatian has a yellow nose. I originally rejected these four puppets as my least favourites, but at just $3 each they made a hard bargain to pass up.

Puppets 2

More cute animal puppets, this time from the online Sunshine Markets, Queensland. The parcel arrived today! These were an irresistible Internet find: crocodile, leopard and (what the online catalogue called) “the Big Good Wolf”. Really? With those eyes?

Wally and the lion

I found Wally, er, Waldo
“I found Wally, er, Waldo!”

After three weeks of unpacking, shelving, unpacking, labelling, unpacking and even more unpacking, our new BER school library is almost ready for young, enthusiastic browsers. The students have been peering anxiously through the glass doors (removing nose marks has been a pleasant daily chore) and soon they will get a chance to see the treasures that await them. For one, I found my old “Where’s Wally” figure, a souvenir of a trip to the USA over Christmas 1991. This Wally, er… Waldo (in the US) most often used to hang in a model hot air balloon in my previous school library, where I had originally made the stupid mistake of promising to “hide” him each week – but the students almost ransacked the shelves looking for him. In this new library, Wally will guard the sure-to-be-popular display of “Where’s Wally” puzzle books.


Library lion
… a library lion guards our new Returns box.

I fell in love with a beautiful reclining lion statue in a local store just last January. It was $50 and I wandered off wishing I could afford it for the library. But it seemed a very extravagant expenditure – and everything was about to go into storage while our BER library was being built. A few months later, I remembered that our collection included the beautiful picture book, “Library lion” by Michelle Knudsen & Kevin Hawkes, and suddenly a lion guarding the new library was an essential. I went back to the shop and the lion statue was still there! But he was now $70. Oh well…

A few weeks ago, I was upstairs in the seedy bargain section of a local bargain store, shopping for inexpensive picture frames – and located, instead, a sitting lion in a forgotten, dusty corner – in almost the same pose as the lion on the cover of the picture book. He was only $14, and the shop assistant said she didn’t even remember him being part of their stock. Thus, we now have our own library lion, and a smugly satisfied, bargain-hunting teacher-librarian.

A not-so-shaggy dog story

I was just telling author, Sally Odgers, on her Facebook page, a child came into our school’s Scholastic Book Fair last week, totally overwhelmed by choice, but had only $4.00 to spend. Oh dear!

He was going to buy a $4 eraser, but I showed him there was a “Jack Russell: Dog Detective” book on the bargain table for $3. He bought that, plus a $1 eraser.

He immediately recognised that the dog was the same breed as mine, whom I’d once brought in to school – as a teaching aid – during “Dog Week” in literacy lessons. (And he once owned a Jack Russell pup, now that I think of it. It didn’t last long, if I recall correctly.) The next day he was still carrying that book all over the school. Recess, lunchtime, even back into the Book Fair. He’d read it at home, the night before, but he literally “couldn’t put it down”. He’s not “a reader”, so it was a rather special event.

And while I think of it. Why, oh why, when students buy something from a Book Fair, do they feel a burning need to bring the item back to the Fair the next day? Not so stationary stationery.