Dragons in the library

Kids not reluctant at puppet-making workshop

Kids not reluctant at puppet-making workshop

January 22, 2006|By MARIE GILBERT

It's not every day that you find a dragon in a library.

So 4-year-old Joshua Harrison wasn't sure if he should be excited or afraid.

But once he spotted the large green creature, he started to smile.

The dragon was a puppet.

Joshua was among a large number of children who showed up Saturday morning at the Washington County Free Library to enjoy a puppet show based on "The Reluctant Dragon," a book by Kenneth Grahame.

The story is about a young boy who befriends a dragon who would rather read poetry than fight.

The puppet show was presented by the staff of the library's children's department, including Jeff Ridgeway and Laura Gross; and Marjorie Crammer, a member of Friends of the Washington County Free Library.


The event was made possible thanks to a $300 grant from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Ridgeway said.

Keats, an author and illustrator, is famous for such books as "The Snowy Day" and "Whistle for Willie."

"But he also loved puppet shows," Ridgeway said. "So when we received the grant, we thought it would be cool to do a puppet show."

Following the show, those in attendance enjoyed a dragon song and dance, as well as a puppet-making workshop.

The activities were a hit with the more than 75 people who gathered in a downstairs meeting room.

"We originally were going to

"It shows that people enjoy what we offer. And it also brings kids into the library," he said. "This may be the first time some of these children have been here. Hopefully, they'll come back and take a book home to read."

Ridgeway said the library is hoping to do more puppet theater, especially after the good response to Saturday's event.

"Everybody has technology," Ridgeway said. "It's nice to get back to the basics, like storytelling and puppet theater. And we're glad to offer something like this. Venues are limited for puppet theater in this area. Plus, we had a good time putting it on."

Jessica Nave of Keedysville brought her daughter Mackenzie, 2, to the puppet show, but thought the toddler might be too young to participate in the puppet workshop.

"This was the first time Mackenzie saw a puppet show, and though she's kind of young, I think she enjoyed it," Nave said.

Danielle Hommel of Smithsburg brought her three children to the show with a motive.

"Madeline, who is 5, got a puppet theater from Santa for Christmas," Hommel said. "I thought this might be a way to get her more interested in doing a show."

Madeline was accompanied by her brother, Zachary, 2, and sister, Emily, 5 1/2 months, who, their mother said, "all love dragons."

Michele Foutch of Hagerstown brought her daughter, Mina, 4, plus her daughter's friend, Katie Mae Keckler, 2, to the show and workshop.

"It's wonderful that there was something for kids of this age to enjoy on a Saturday," Foutch said. "I thought the show was great. But the library always does a good job of offering things for kids."

Sara Fisher appeared at the puppet show without any children in tow.

"I just happened to be in the library and heard about the event," the Hagerstown resident said. "I decided to drop in to see what it was all about. I thought it was wonderful. You know, I'm a senior citizen. You don't have to be a kid to enjoy this kind of stuff."

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