TPiB: Tiny Food Party
Puppies, kittens and babies (oh my!) What do they have in common? A large portion of the population thinks they are cute. I propose they are cute because they are tiny. I mean, have you ever seen those tiny baby shoes? Totes adorbs, as my Tween would say. Because we seem to be drawn to tiny cute things, I present you with Tiny Food Party by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park. A book full of – wait for it – tiny food.
There are 5 things to love about this book:
1) Tiny food!
2) Tiny homemade pop tarts – so awesome they have to be listed separately from tiny food
3) Full color pictures for the win! (a must for any real recipe book I would argue)
4) It has an awesome equivalents chart and index
5) They have organized the various foods into “A Little Menu” ideas which means they have given you some built in party planning ideas that include things like a Tiny BBQ/Picnic, a Tiny Vegetarian Food Party, a Tiny Comfort Food Party, a Tiny Food Fiesta, a Tiny Dinner Party, a Tiny Fair Food Party, a Tiny Breakfast Food Party, a Tiny Asian Food Party, and more. Right there they have given you some great party or library program ideas. (My only wish is that the Little Menus were easier to find as I didn’t see them listed in the table of contents or index, I had to flip through the book when I wanted to refer back to them).
Pick out some of your favorite mini recipes from the book and make Fairy Gardens. Or fairy stick puppets. Actually, here is a list of some good fairy crafts that you could easily do. And here are more, including fairy snowglobes. As a bonus, you can also do a fairy themed book discussion to go along with the theme. Or read parts of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Or watch The Dead Poets Society. Or, read and watch Ella Enchanted. Goodreads has a shelf of fairy books.
The Borrowers Book Discussion
I can’t help but think of The Borrowers when I think of tiny things. Or even Stuart Little. See, there are a lot of great book titles you can pair with the menu items in Tiny Food Party and have some fun book discussions. Here is a Borrowers book discussion outline.
Have a multicultural night with crafts and food tastings. You can go for a general multicultural theme, or get more specific for things like The Chinese New Year and Cinco de Mayo.
Tiny Food Fiesta menu includes Taquitos, Beef Empanadas, Arepas, Fried Tacos, Candied Bacon Churros, Sweet Corn Ice Cream Tacos and Lemon-Lime Frizzes. Pair this with a fun mini pinata DIY from Oh Happy Day.
Tiny Asian Food Party menu includes Kimchi Deviled Eggs, Pajeon, Banh Mi Sandwiches, Mochi Ice Cream Balls and Bloody Marys. Gyotaku is the Japanese art of fish printing. You can use a rubber fish (or real fish if you are bold) and make fish print t-shirts. Martha Stewart has some good instructions. The Mr., who was an art major, has done this and it really is quite fun.
The Heartbreak Movie Film Festival
What better way to host an Anti-Valentine’s Day party then to watch a movie marathon of the greatest breakup films of all time and eat some tiny comfort food. The Tiny Comfort Food Party menu includes Coxhina, Shepherd’s Pies, Meat Loaves, Deep-Dish Pizzas, Chicken ‘n’ Waffles, White Chocolate Cheesecakes and Bloody Marys. Coxinha is a Brazilian street food made mainly of chicken for those of you like me who did not know this. Karen recommends: The 500 Days of Summer.
The Library Lock-In
Christie has library lock-ins as rewards for her winter and summer summer reading clubs. Look Christie, they have a breakfast menu for you! Tiny Breakfast Food Party includes Savory Scones, Chicken ‘n’ Waffles, Stuffed French Toast, Country-Style Eggs Benedict, Cinnamon Spiced Cupcakes, Homemade Pop Tarts, and Coffecake Cocktails (which you probably don’t want to serve to minors)
You can set up a little mini carnival in your library, which would be a great after hours program. Or take the Karen easy approach to this program and bust out the video game system and the game Carnival Games. Or have your Minecraft teens put together a Minecraft carnival. Pair this with the Tiny Fair Food Party menu which includes “Onion” Rings, Bolinhos De Bacalhau, Corn dogs, Chicken ‘n’ Waffles, Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites, Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches and Funnel Cakes
Mini Cupcake Wars
Make (or buy) mini cupcakes and let tweens and teens decorate them. Seriously easy.
Mini Bowling or Eyeball Miniature Golf
Set up a mini-bowling alley and a miniature golf course in your library and serve your favorite tiny foods. This would be a great after hours program. If you do miniature golf, you can let the tweens and teens set up the course as part of the fun. I say eyeball miniature golf because I like playing it with balls that look like eyeballs. It gives it a certain flair.
I honestly think just having a “Tiny Food Party” would be fun. Pick your favorite recipes and pick some fun crafts out of the Microcrafts books to do. Who could resist an invitation to attend a “Tiny Food Party”.
A note about food at library programs: I have actually worked at a library that had a full kitchen in the programming room. And I have worked at libraries for which providing any type of food is incredibly difficult. I have worked at libraries where the children’s librarian baked dozens of themed sugar cookies for kids to decorate to go along with a program theme. So obviously people have various abilities and access when it comes to providing food at a library program. But you can always do the crafting and gaming and book discussion parts of the program and then make a bookmark for your participants with a menu outline from the book with the information they need to check it out later.
You could also make various bookmarks with party outlines – including craft and game ideas – that patrons can pick up at the circulation desk. I don’t know about you, but my patrons love that type of stuff. People are always looking for party information so giving them an outline of the Comfort Food Party menu with a few heartbreak films and books around Valentine’s Day would be a fun little promotional item and display. Think of all the displays you could put together with a little bookmark of food suggestions, book and movie recommendations, and a craft outline.
As part of Quirk Books Week, Quirk Books has generously donated a prize package for one lucky winner that will include 2 of the above cookbooks, a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, the first book of the Lovecraft Middle School series, and a copy of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. I’ve tried to give you as many ways as possible to enter so pick the one (or ones) that work best for you and do the Rafflecopter thingy below. The giveaway closes on Saturday, December 14th and is open to U.S. Residents. The books will be sent to you from Quirk Books and they are worth it.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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