And our October pick is...
Vlad, The Fabulous Vampire by Flavia Z. Drago
October Pick -- Vlad, The Fabulous Vampire
We're so excited to announce our October MOSS Kids Book Club pick! Join us this month as we enter a magical world for a spooky celebration of our differences. A story about finding yourself & your community with a little help from a friend.
Vlad is a vampire with the misfortune of having rosy cheeks that--gasp!--make him look abysmally alive. But being the fabulous vampire that he is (and hoping to avoid rejection), he hides his rosy complexion behind elaborate vampire outfits in traditional black. That is, until he finds out that his best friend has a pink secret of her own... Vlad & his friend, Shelley, together adventure into the unknown, beyond the borders of their Dark Woods, and find that it's better to love what makes you unique. It takes a lot of courage to be your true self. There are times when Vlad still feels insecure, but he knows that there will always be someone he can count on. Not only does Vlad find himself, but he finds his community.
Below you will find our monthly craft; printable activity sheet; and our community outreach activity where we will be giving back to those in our community who need it most, the only way a fashionista would. Don't forget to check out our full Halloween book list for fun, magical reads this sPoOkY season (board books, picture books, middle grade, & young adult):
We really hope you enjoy this month of book club, especially our new revamp as we try to keep our nationwide book club free & accessible for all. Each book is intentionally handpicked with each activity and outreach curated to engage and enrich our youth's experiences. Through these diverse and inclusive reads, working and playing together, and giving back to their own community, we hope to instill empathy, understanding, & kindness in our kids. If you didn't receive a copy of the book, don't fret. We will be uploading a video story time to this post this week. You'll get an email with the update & we'll post about the addition on our socials.
Let's Craft: Fashionista Friendship Bracelets
Let's pretend we're Swifties at a concert & make friendship bracelets. We're working on fine motor coordination & control as we thread the bead onto the string/pipe cleaner. We're utilizing bilateral coordination using both hands as we hold the string/pipe cleaner in one hand and thread with the other. If you want to add another layer of developmental work, you can create pattern strips with the beads you have & have each child create the pattern before threading onto their string/pipe cleaner. We love this idea from our friend Mikaela from Project Based Primary, LLC.
A note on the importance of patterns: Recognizing, creating, and extending patterns is a critical early cognitive skill that forms part of the foundation for more complex concepts. Understanding patterns help children predict and anticipate what’s coming next, a skill that is fundamental to learning how to organize and make sense of the world around them. When your child creates patterns, they’re not just sorting objects or colors, they’re beginning to observe and understand relationships, rules, and regularities in their environment. Creating a pattern of alternating colors can lay the foundations for numerical understanding and algebraic thinking. I could go on for days & bore you on the importance and patterns but I won't, just trust me & work on patterns with your kids.
Beads; if you are working with younger children, we suggest using larger wooden beads like these -- (1) to lower the risk of being swallowed, (2) to modify for smaller hands
Elastic string, yarn, or pipe cleaners; if you are working with younger children, we suggest using pipe cleaners because they are larger, sturdier, & easier to hold on to while threading
Scissors & tape
Easy: Use pipe cleaner & larger beads
Moderate: Tape down elastic string when threading
Hard: Allow child to make bracelets without modifications
Set up using modifications based on child's developmental level.
Let child make their own bracelets! Easiest, most fun craft yet.
Moderate & Hard (left to right):
Remember: After you are done reading the book (if you received a copy from us!) & making your crafts, please have your kids sign the library card located in the back of the book (first names only!). Let's bring back a little bit of fun from our childhood. Also, please donate your book to your local public library, to your school library, or to a little free library in your area so more kids can enjoy a new diverse & inclusive read.
printable activity sheets:
We absolutely adore our author/illustrator Flavia Z Drago. She was born and raised in Mexico City. When she was a child it was her dream to become a mermaid. Sadly that didn't happen, but around the same age, something else did: she started drawing. She started her career as a graphic designer and then became an illustrator. This has given her the opportunity to live and travel doing what she loves in different countries such as Spain, France, and England, where recently she graduated from the Children's Book Illustration MA at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. She loves color, textures and shapes and enjoys creating them with different materials and a bit of digital sorcery. When she's not drawing she enjoys the normal things: cooking, running, spending time with the people she loves & watching horror movies.
For Vlad the Fabulous Vampire, Flavia has created multiple activity sheets for us to use! The BIGGEST thanks to Flavia for creating these & letting us use them for our MOSS Kids Book Club. Click to download below:
This month's community outreach activity we're giving back. Prior to your book club meeting, you'll need to do a little research to find a homeless shelter that your group is able to donate to. Make sure the shelter is accepting donations.
In October 2011, creator Brad Montague realized there was a large homeless population in his hometown, and he wanted to do something about it. While researching the needs of the homeless community, he learned that socks are the items least donated to homeless shelters. So Brad took action. He began to film himself wishing people “Happy Socktober!” as he gave out pairs of socks on the streets, and he posted these videos on social media. In 2013, Socktober teamed up with Kid President to spread the word and encourage more people to participate. Since then, Socktober has exploded! Kids and adults around the world have started their own sock drives to benefit their local homeless shelters. In 2013 & 2014, I personally ran my own Socktober drives. One of the drives I ran individually, collecting socks from my friends and family. The other I ran the sock drive through a local elementary school, each classroom worked to get as many new pairs of socks as they could with the winning classroom getting a pizza party. We ended up donating close to 1,000 pairs of socks. It was the highlight of my year. There's just something about giving back to a vulnerable, yet vital part of your community; the people who just need a little bit more support.
After reading Vlad the Fabulous Vampire, I knew we *had* to do a Socktober sock drive. After all, with Vlad being a fashionista, he would want everyone to feel cozy, clothed, & safe as we head into the cold, wintery season. Now, you don't have to donate 1,000 pairs of socks. Even donating 1 pack will help a few people. We'd like you to talk to your group about Socktober & who these socks would be donated to. Talk to them about the shelter & who they help. Talk to them about food insecurity, about housing insecurity, & that there are multiple reasons a person could be unhoused. Watch this video with your kids (yes, it is 8 years old but it gets the point across). Make a plan. Set a deadline. Spread the word (neighborhood fb pages, family, neighbors, local businesses). We want to see how many socks we can donate. Please email me with your final amount, we would LOVE to post about it on our socials.
Please do not skip this activity. We truly believe this outreach activity is a vital part of childhood & an opportunity to raise kind kids. Teaching our youth about the importance giving back & standing up by showing their support, especially for strangers, is necessary to raising the kind of kids that will help shape this society into something we are all proud of. Understanding the value of putting in hard work to get donations and understanding that the donations they receive can be better spent given to help others.
YAY! Another MOSS Kids Book Club pick, crafts, printable sheet, and community outreach activity. We would love to see when you receive your books and all the beautiful crafts your kids create. You do not need to share kid's faces. Please be sure to tag us on Instagram @mosskidsbooks & use #mosskidsbookclub. Sharing about MOSS Kids Book Club is a way for your community to learn more about what MOSS Kids has to offer & for them to know where they can find the book you're donating. By doing so, we can reach & help more kids across the country. We'd also love to hear any feedback you may have, please email us at email@example.com. We appreciate you all so much for taking the initiative to bring kids together to read diverse books & hopefully learn vital life skills to help make our world a better place.
did you miss out on a chance at the book this month & want to sign up for next month?
All you need to do is fill out the google doc below & you'll be entered to win next month's book. TEN lucky winners will receive a copy for their book club to read together every month & then donate to their local school library, public library, or a little free library in their area!
want a copy of our book club pick monthly sent to your door to keep & add to your shelves + more?
Join our $25 Patreon tier & every month we will ship you a copy of our MOSS Kids Book Club pick of the month AND a MOSS Mystery bundle (secondhand blind date with a kid's book) AND you will be entered into our monthly Patreon-only giveaway! Your support goes directly to purchasing new diverse & inclusive books for kids in underserved communities.
Don't Forget: We Have 5(!!) Local moss kids book club locations in eastern north carolina!!
Thursday, 10/12: MOSS Kids Book Club at Larema Coffee House in Rocky Mount at 430pm
Tuesday, 10/17: MOSS Kids Book Club at the playground in Pinetops at 430pm
Friday, 10/20: MOSS Kids Book Club at Books and Beans in Rocky Mount at 11am
Monday, 10/23: MOSS Kids Book Club at Wilson County Public Library in Wilson at 430pm
Tuesday, 10/24: MOSS Kids Book Club at Country Feedback Vintage & Vinyl in Tarboro at 4pm