Lucky for me, I had made some products with a monster theme over the summer, so making signs to advertise the book fair was pretty easy.
My five year old also helped me advertise after he discovered the Clifford costume in all of the book fair stuff.
Setting up, on the other hand, wasn't as quick or easy. It took about 8 hours. Here's some quick peeks at the process.
The decorations on the table and the decorations hanging from the ceiling came from the Scholastic decorating kit which I was able to get for free from the Scholastic Dollars catalog by attending a book fair workshop and using my special code I received from my book fair rep. Although it's valued at $69.99, I value it at a much higher price because it saves me from having to create a bunch of decor or from having to run around town to find items to match the theme.
Before I moved out the bookcases and boxes, I went ahead and put the tablecloths on the table. It saves me some time when unpacking to go ahead and have those on the table.
It took me about an hour to get to this point. Keep in mind I was setting up on my own. I did have a parent volunteer sign up to help set up, but she was unable due to an unforeseen circumstance.
After about an hour and a half, all the boxes were in the sections where they were ready to be unpacked and the books inside of them put on display.
After about six hours, this is what the fair looked like. It's the details that get me every time. I do like to label as many books as I can with AR labels since we use AR at my school. I also label each shelf with letters so when teachers are creating their wish lists, it is easy for them to put what shelf that book can be found on. All of this takes time, but it is worth it for the fair to run smoothly the next week.
A good part of the set up time involves creating "doodad" board and organizing the "doodads." I forgot to snap a picture of our "doodad" board from this fair, but here's a picture of one from a previous fair. I use a trifold board and tape one of each item to the board. I number each item. Students can let the cashier know which item they want when they get up to the cashier. It helps to prevent the little items from disappearing and since I began using the "doodad" board, more books are purchased than the junky stuff. So it's worth the extra time.
I always dress up the front doors of the media center. The students get very excited when they see these decorations go up because they know the book fair is just about to start. This time around, I left these doors until the end. You can tell by my sad little monster over the door that I was a little tired by then. But the kiddos still liked it, so I am good with it.
And now that the fair is over, I can smile about it all.
It really was a "monster"ously good time.