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Library storytime returns outdoors

By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

As spring arrives, outdoor activities have returned to the Walpole Public Library.

Patrons of the Walpole Public Library are especially glad to see the return of outdoor storytime, long a favorite activity among younger members of the community. During the colder months, the weekly storytime sessions were held over Zoom. The return of spring weather means that storytime can once more meet on the lawn outside Blackburn Hall for a safe and socially-distanced in-person session. 

It was back in action an a chilly Wednesday, April 21. Despite the cold weather, Leslie Loomis was armed with a number of stories and activities for the children and their families to enjoy. Parents laid out blankets for their families, maintaining social distancing space between each party to ensure everyone had a safe and fun time. 

After finished a first activity, Loomis introduced the first of two books she would be reading. “I’ve got two great stories for you - if the books don’t blow away,” laughed Loomis, as a particularly strong gust of wind whipped through the field. She began with “Clumsy Duck” by Britta Teckentrup. As suggested by the title, the story is about a duckling who is self-conscious about her clumsiness. Her good friend, Chick, helps her throughout the story, eventually helping the young duck come to terms with her ungainliness. Eventually, the young duck finds that her feet are perfectly suited for swimming. Kids in the audience smiled at the triumph of the duckling as they observed the adorable illustrations of the once-clumsy duck swimming gracefully in a pond.

With the chilly weather moving in, Loomis asked everyone to stand up for their next activity. “If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands,” sang Loomis. Every adult and some of the kids in the audience sang along and followed the actions. Loomis then sang a rendition of “I’m a Little Teapot,” before moving onto another story.

The last story Loomis read for the session was “How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?” by Jane Yolen. This story revolves around the hypothetical question of what dinosaurs do when they get sick. The story describes dinosaurs reacting very similarly to humans: reluctant to take medicine, going to see the doctor, and leaving a trail of dirty tissues around their house. Kids in the audience giggled over some of the absurd illustrations, including a triceratops dragging his feet to avoid going to the doctor’s office. 

While this week’s storytime was cut a few minutes short when it became too windy for librarians and attendees, everyone still managed to have a blast. Before leaving, kids were given the weekly craft to do at home, supplied by the Walpole Coordinated Family and Engagement (Walpole CFCE).

The weather isn’t always predictable around here, but one thing certainly is: the positive reactions of Walpole's children to storytime at the library.

Outdoor storytime occurs on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

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