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5 Books to Get Your Kids into Tabletop Games
So for those of you who haven’t heard of the classic tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons is back in a big way. That’s not to say that it ever really went away, it certainly didn’t. But for those of you who are unfamiliar Dungeons and Dragons, or D&D for short, is a role playing game where players design their own characters and form an adventuring party that sets off in a fantasy world, crafted by the Dungeon Master, or DM.
I’m guessing that there are a lot of you parents out there who love the game yourselves, some new players and some who have been playing since you were kids. And you want to pass that love of the game along to your little ones. That’s where I can help. I’ve compiled a quick list of titles to share with your kids to get them interested in D&D and inspire them to create their own characters!
It would be irresponsible of me not the mention the Hobbit. I have too many friends who have told me that their love of fantasy started at a young age when the parents read them the Hobbit before bed to leave it out. And Tolkien was a huge player in the development of the modern fantasy genre. The adventuring party from his later books, including The Fellowship of the Ring could be considered the OG parties. They are so important to D&D because they sort of established that comfortable, companionable group of adventurers bringing their strengths together, which acts as a guide for assembling your party in the game.
Admittedly I was embarrassingly late to the party on this one. I like to think that I keep up with my favorite creators but I somehow missed that Zac Gorman, one of my favorite cartoonists, had put out a fantasy book for children in April this year. But man did I love this book. Our hero, Thisby Thestoop (a play off of a poorly written note) is the gamekeeper at the Black Mountain. The Black Mountain acts as a sort of tourist trap for wannabe adventurers who are looking for a dungeon to explore, and Thisby spends her days caring for the creatures lurking in the dungeon. Her years working there have given her a familiarity with the dungeon’s most dangerous residents, which comes in handy when the crown princess and princess of the Land of Nth come for a visit and everything falls into chaos. This book is great for familiarizing your little one with all of the different types of monsters they might face in a D&D campaign, with everything from vampires to kobolds and more!
I love recommending “Choose Your Own Adventure” style books to young readers. To be honest, I wish there were more in adult titles too. Who doesn’t like holding a page with your thumb to go back just in case you don’t like how your decision turned out? The set-up of D&D lends itself perfectly to a Choose Your Own Adventure book. In total honesty I haven’t read through Escape the Underdark but only because we are currently playing through that story line in one of my campaigns and I don’t want any spoilers; my DM would kill me. I have however flipped through the book and something that I really appreciate about it is that it uses the artwork from the D&D Players Handbook, something that every player should familiarize themselves with.
This graphic novel has everything; it’s got adventure, fantasy, and cooking. Rutabaga keep stumbling his way into harrowing situations and finding his way out with his unique culinary skills. After reading it I just wanted to make a new character who is absented minded and loves cooking for the party. Bon appetit! And as an added bonus there are a couple of easy fantasy themed recipes in the back that parents and kids can make together (perhaps as snacks for your first game night).
One of the most fun parts about playing D&D is the role-playing part, really getting into and playing as your character. Kids are gifted with very active imaginations, and have a knack for creating their own characters. So before starting your campaign I would recommend having them read Cardboard Kingdom. It is a graphic novel collection of stories about a group of kids who have created their own kingdom using boxes, tape, and their imaginations. Each kid has their own character that they play as, battling against their friends while learning important life lessons. Reading through the stories, it felt like a modern day Roxaboxen, which is one of my favorite picture books, and I would also highly recommend.
These books are a great starting point for getting your kids familiar with the fantasy genre and the concept of an adventuring party. Check out the D&D Player Handbook and your kids come up with some character idea of their own. And don’t forget to come up the Children’s Department for more recommendations and fantasy titles.
As a shameless plug for our other amazing library services I would also like to mention that you can print 3D miniatures of your D&D party using our 3D printer at the library. I’ve printed out miniatures for all of my games here and painted them and I couldn’t be happier with them. You can find free 3D miniatures models here and information about our 3D printing services here.
And if you and your family run their own game, stop by and tell me about your characters some time! I’d love to hear about your adventure!
– Miss Marilyn
April Fools Fun!
Hi! Ms. Julie here, did you know that in 2002 NASA posted a picture of proof that the moon was made of cheese, it also included an expiration date! It was posted on April 1, for an APRIL FOOLS DAY prank!
No one really knows how April fool’s Day started. Did it have to do with when centuries ago the calendar changed from celebrating New Years on April 1st to January 1st, and those still celebrating on April 1st were considered fools? Or maybe it has to do with the time of year when nature fools us with her temperamental weather? We may never know, but we do know it’s become a fun tradition.
If you are interested in some great jokes, riddles or pranks. Here are some of the selections available in the nonfiction section of our library.
Roald Dahls’ Guide to Mischief AND MAYHEM, by Kay Woodward
Offers step-by-step instructions for pranks and tricks, along with jokes, quizzes, and excerpts from such Roald Dahl classics as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “The Witches.”
The Kid’s Guide to Pranks, Tricks, and Practical Jokes, by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
Provides instructions for pulling a variety of harmless pranks, tricks and practical jokes.
Gross Pranks by Karen M. Leet
If you love to pull pranks, check out some fun and disgusting ways to prank your friends and family!
Kids’ Silliest Riddles, by Jacqueline Horsfall
Check out this book of riddles with fun titles like Picnic Pranks, Sym-phony and Garden Goofies.
Remember if you want to prank someone on April fool’s Day, make sure that is good spirted and fun for EVERYONE.