Come On In – the Books Are Fine!

Most kids never forget the first Dr. Seuss book that made them laugh out loud or the first Judy Blume book that made them cry. And to honor and celebrate works and moments like these, libraries and bookstores around the country will hold events throughout the month to encourage young ones to crack open even more books.

The Lower Merion Library System will celebrate the 86th annual Children's Book Week – sponsored nationally by the Children's Book Council, and slated this year from Nov. 14 to Nov. 20 – with one event per night at each of its branches.

"We decided as a system that we would do a week of programming to create a festive atmosphere," said Cynthia Long, coordinator of children's services for the library system. "We're hoping to attract some that don't normally use the library to come on down and have some fun."

The festivities will kick off on Nov. 14 with an evening pajama-party/storytime at the Penn Wynne Library. Storyteller Kate Perlish will entertain her audience with a selection from her "big bag of books."

She says she'll pick the story depending on the ages in her audience, but that her favorites include Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and Jane Yolen's How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

"I love bringing the books to life and showing children the beauty … and the flow of the language," said Perlish. "Kids need to hear them read with some sort of lively excitement, to know that they will help you deal with problems, make you laugh, entertain, educate you, and make life better and fuller."

The week of events continues with puppeteer Steve Abrams and his handheld buddies at the Ardmore branch; a children's sing-along at the Bala Cynwyd Library; magician Joseph Keppel, performing "Explore the World and Read" at the Gladwyne Library; and songs and stories at the Ludington branch in Bryn Mawr.

Children's Book Week just happens to coincide with the 12th annual JCC Jewish Book Festival held throughout the month of November. The festival will feature events for kids, as well as some 700 titles for young people.

"JCC gets to celebrate Jewish authors and books, and doing it in tandem with Children's Book Week is a natural tie-in," said Amy Krulik, director of marketing and public relations for the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia. "At the Jewish book festival, kids realize that some of their favorite authors may be Jewish.

"It's nice for them to recognize there are Jewish role models who are authors."



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