By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter
The Wellesley Hills Branch of the Wellesley Public Library is a local gem. Not only is its outward appearance a gorgeous presentation of stone and wood, but inside offers a calm, soothing atmosphere, complete with dimmed lighting and a friendly, attentive staff. On Fridays at 10:30 a.m., the space fills with the giggles, singing and voices of young children, enthusiastically following along with Children’s Librarian Kristy Pasquariello, who leads Book Babies. “This program is meant for zero to two years old, but I get some older kids and that’s fine, too,” she said.
Book Babies runs year-round, and while the number of babies depends on the time of year, the average is around 15 little ones. “At the Main Library, they get a much bigger crowd. But at this branch, I usually get around 15,” Pasquariello said. One of the benefits of attending the class at this branch is its intimate nature. Families and children sit inside and around the children’s nook, listening and singing along. “For the baby program, I do lap sits, which is the songs and rhymes where they’re bouncing on their parents knee,” Pasquariello explained. “and then finger plays, like ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ and things they can do with their fingers. Then I do two short, easy books and mostly just songs.” Songs include old staples such as “Make New Friends” and “Happy And You Know It” as well as variations on a theme, such as “We Shake Our Rattles” sung to the tune of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow.”
The program provides a half hour of lower-energy activities that keep babies interested, since Pasquariello moves quickly through songs and activities. Some children sing along, anticipating what’s coming next, clearly Friday morning regulars.
The program runs year round, and is open and free to the public.