Inspired by classic children’s novels, Katie Lewis and her daughter, Olivia, created eye-catching displays.
Displays based on children’s stories have been on exhibit at the Shute Park Library in Hillsboro, Oregon, for the past few weeks.
The papier-mache and knitted exhibits, made by a local mother and daughter, have received a lot of attention, according to library employees. For Katie Lewis and Olivia, the inspiration came from classic children’s literature.
When Lewis and her friends first discussed the idea, they thought it would be amusing to recreate scenes from some of their favorite children’s novels. It’s not clear how the Hillsboro Public Library became involved.
About a year ago, the Lewis family relocated to Hillsboro. They observed empty display cases in the front of the Brookwood Library the first time they went there. They came up with the concept of creating a craft project to go within the glass displays.
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This got me thinking about making hand-made displays of their favorite moments from children’s books.
As Lewis explains, “we chose classic children’s books that our family has enjoyed and that we knew would be well-known to other library users.” “Also, we picked books that contained familiar papier-mache scenes.”
Troy Shinn took this photo of Anne’s house fashioned from cardboard and papier-mache, with a knitted doll in tow. The Shute Park Library in Hillsboro, Oregon, has six displays now on display.
Anne of Green Gables’ house is depicted in this cardboard, papier-mache, and knitted-doll display. The Shute Park Library in Hillsboro, Oregon, has six exhibits like this one.
In addition to L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Gertrude Chandler Warner’s The Box Car Kids, Remy Charlip’s Thankfully, Ludwig Bemelmans’ Maddie, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, and C.S Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are also being highlighted.
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The Shute Park branch’s breezeway is adorned with six papier-mache sculptures created on a cardboard base. Using a miniature ragdoll sewing method popularised by Ann Wood, an artist Lewis admires, Lewis came up with the idea to incorporate stitched dolls into the exhibits.
As an alternative, the exhibits were installed in the Shute Park location, though some may be relocated to the Brookwood location later this month.
They underestimated how long it would take to make the displays. A few of the displays were completed a year ago, but the rest took a lot longer to put together, Lewis added.
As she put it, “Last year, we got off to a great start but then kind of lost steam.” I estimate that this project took a few weeks of labor spaced out across several months.
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Narnia, according to Lewis’s daughter Olivia, was the most difficult show to put together because of the sheer number of components that needed to fit together independently. In it, the author’s magical world is revealed through a swinging door in the titular wardrobe, which is filled to the brim with garments.
It was an opportunity to give back to their community and have some hands-on fun while they were homeschooling at the same time. The Lewises, like many other families, elected to homeschool their three children rather than send them to school during the epidemic, as they had done when Olivia was smaller.
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When they return to school next year, Lewis’s children can’t wait to see their teacher face-to-face. In terms of the exhibits, they hope the community will appreciate the additional color and creativity they provide to the library entryway when they are moved to the Brookwood Library later this month (hopefully).
Lewis added, “We just made them for fun.” It was a joy to bring the scenes to life! We hope our community enjoys seeing them when they come to the library!”