Humans and animals often have a special connection. Whether it is a guinea pig, a dog or our favourite pet, animals give us something that another human can’t.
In lots of fiction books animals play a roll. It might be a small one but often the cat, horse or pet rat pops up as the one we turn to if we’re lonely, sad or in need of a listening ear. Animals accept us as we are and we don’t need to pretend. We accept them as they are and we enjoy their characters. Strong bonds exist between us and our animals.
In this display I try to show our admiration for animals and how fond we are of them, especially when we are children. The idea to combine it with the maze came to me when I saw the beautiful pictures of a maze with animals inside the front cover of the book: Poems from the ZOO – “Flamingo Bendalingo” by Paula Green & Fifty children, illustrated by Michael Hight. It fitted perfectly with the theme and gave it an extra dimension.
Visualising a display is a creative process. Sometimes it comes in one hit and other times the ideas come in stages. This one came in stages, bit by bit it took shape.
The idea for the child with outstretched arms was more or less dictated by the tree on the other side of the display board. I had to cover up the back of the tree with something stocky. The limbs of the tree wave out between the board and the top part and the outstretched arms of the child covered that perfectly.
What you need:
- Pair of child’s trousers (Op-shop or an old pair from one of your own children) Child’s hooded sweatshirt (same as above)
- Lots of toy animals (bought a couple of fur ones at the Op-shop for one or two dollars each and some plastic ones at the Two Dollar shop)
- Image of two outstretched hands (Google images) laminated
- Plastic pipe to hang the hooded sweatshirt on. (length of pipe: size of the hooded sweatshirt with outstretched arms less 5 cm
- Heaps of small images of animals (I copied mine from the book mentioned above, cut out and pasted on a A3 sheet and laminated
- Copies of maze (book mentioned above) enough to cover the display board 3 packages of lime green crepe paper to cover the top part of the board and to make little hedges for the maze to give it a 3D effect
- Nails, long and thin, to pin the animals on the maze for a 3D effect
- Images of animals (optional) to cover 2 extra boxes on either side of the display board to display more books
- Laminated letters “ME AND MY A MAZE ING ANIMALS.
What to do:
Cover the display board with the copies of the maze (use the staple technique described in Display tips
Cover the top part of the display board (if you have one) with the lime green crepe paper.
Staple the child’s trousers to the board and fill with crumbled news paper.
Stick the pipe in the hooded sweatshirt and put a wire or nylon string through the pipe to hang the shirt to the board. Make sure you connect it securely – it is heavier than it looks. Staple the shirt and sleeves (from inside) to the board.
Fill the hooded sweatshirt with crumbled newspaper and staple the paper to the board. Try to cover the staples a bit when stapling the hoody by using the inside edge of the fabric.
Connect the laminated arm/hand to the pipe inside the sleeves. I used a glue gun which works fantasticly but tape would do the job as well.
Place the animals on the shoulders of the child and staple them to the board. On a couple of occasions the fur was too thick and I tied a nylon string to the animals and stapled that to the board. For the plastic animals I used the glue gun.
Also staple the letters for the title to the board. I made the mistake of pasting the
letters to the backside of A3 tiger print paper and had it laminated. After cutting the letters I discovered they didn’t stick because the laminate sticks to the paper and a double layer of paper gets loose in the middle, so I had to give them an additional bit of paste around the edges. Then I discovered…..I had the letters in reverse. Not realizing that fact until I was in the middle of building the display I wondered what to do. It was going to be a major job to do it again and I was running out of time so I just stapled them to the board. It fits in well with the maze idea.
So here’s the right way to do it unless you like the idea of back to front letters for effect:-
Draw the letters on the printed side of the laminated tiger print paper and cut them out. Or draw them in reverse on the back of the tiger print paper and cut them out. You don’t need to cut very neatly, you can curl around the letters to give them a bit of swing.
Now it is time to do a bit more about the maze. Cut little strips from the crepe paper and staple that crumbled to the hedges of the maze to give it a 3D effect. You don’t need to make all the hedges, just enough to give the effect of hedges. Just a couple give that extra dimension.
To make it even more spectacular I nailed around 20 animals shown on the maze paper to each display board but let them stick out a couple of centimetres. It makes it so much more active.
We have so many fantastic fiction books covering the human/animal connection
theme that I used two cardboard boxes from a previous display and pasted some laminated images of animals to them to create more display space. On the head and tail side of the display board they provide just that extra bit of attention to this display when entering the library.
This is not the easiest of displays to make but the extra work is worth it.
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