Animals with Attitude!


Yesterday in our Creative Writing for Beginning Readers class, we explored the characters of Beatrix Potter and the concept of personification. We talked about what personification is and came up with some examples:



Beatrix Potter was a scientist who kept a lot of animals and drew inspiration for her stories from the animals she observed around her. We tried to think about the behaviors of animals we have seen, and used those behaviors as inspiration to come up with interesting animal characters:

animal behavior

animal personality

Here, we discussed a few animals the kids had seen before and what kinds of personalities might fit those behaviors:


Then we were ready to make our books! I found a great instruction sheet for making a Victorian house book out of 11×17 paper on the website I was inspired to make this after seeing this image of a Strega Nona house book:

I made a sample (didn’t have time for coloring though):



The kids wrote stories about their animals using the sheet where they had worked out the animal’s character traits and story problem. Then they got to draw their animal inside its house and color.










Here are some of their finished book houses!






The library will have a special Beatrix Potter program led by a member of the Beatrix Potter Society, on Saturday, April 16 at 10:30 am. Bring the whole family to celebrate her 150th birthday!

beatrix poster

Our next Creative Writing for Beginning Readers class will be Tuesday, April 12 at 4:30 pm. It’s for kids ages 5-8. You can sign up by calling 626-744-4066 option 4 for children’s, or you can email anhurtado [at] cityofpasadena [dot] net. Hope to see you then!

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian currently working at the Lamanda Park Branch Library while Central Library is closed for seismic repairs. I purchase juvenile fiction for grades 2-8, and some foreign languages. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including 3 regular book clubs (Windows and Mirrors, Read Around the World, and Lucha Libros), as well as writing workshops and STEAM/science programs. I also Infant/Toddler Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes, and outreach to local area preschools. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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