Your friend is not invited to the sleepover. But you are. What do you do?
In Penny & Jelly Slumber Under the Stars, Penny faces this dilemma, with a twist or two. The excluded friend isn’t just an ordinary pal but her fur-faced, dog-breathed bestie, Jelly. And the sleepover isn’t the any-old variety, either. It’s a special sleep-under-the-stars event at the Town Community Center.
Penny meets this problem with aplomb. As a maker and dabbler myself, I love how Penny sets about finding a solution. The girl gets crafty!
Armed with yarn, cotton balls, recyclables, shaving cream, even gelatin, Penny attempts to create a substitute Jelly to attend the sleepover instead.
(A close-up of the classic toothpick-and-marshmallow combo:)
OK, as you’ve probably guessed, Penny learns that craft projects don’t fix all of life’s problems. (She does find a creative solution. But I’m not giving it away.)
Nonetheless, the story inspired me to get crafty. Why not throw a starry sleepover for a couple of wacky, resourceful kids that I know and celebrate the publication of the second Penny & Jelly adventure (written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated in warm washes by Thyra Heder)?
We don’t see a lot of stars in the city so we chose to make our own. Here’s how:
You will need a standard size flashlight, 1/4″ hole punch (we used a star-shaped punch), black construction paper, scissors, white pencil, and masking tape.
Step 1: On the black paper, trace circles that will cover the lens of the flashlight.
Step 2: Sketch your starry designs. Simple constellation patterns are readily available online for inspiration–or for tracing.
Step 3: Cut out your circles and punch holes for each star in your pattern.
Step 4: You can either inset your star discs (which involves unscrewing the head of the flashlight, removing several parts, and then replacing everything–whew! involved)–or you can overlay the star disc on the lens. You may need to use masking tape to keep it in place while projecting.
Step 5: Pop some corn, set up the sleeping bags, and project the starry night onto your ceiling!
Boston-area residents: Bring your young book enthusiasts to the Penny & Jelly Slumber Under the Stars Book Launch at Newtonville Books on July 24 at 2 p.m.
And check out all of these stops on the the official Penny & Jelly blog tour: