BEST STORY TIME - Spokane-Area Libraries (city & amp; county) - Susan Creed, a children's librarian at the Shadle Park branch, calls Spokane "a good library town." That's readily apparent in local storytelling programs. Some area parents, perhaps because they're concerned about the onslaught of TV and video games, consistently bring their kids to the three different programs available: story times for toddlers, preschoolers and families. So what are the Bestsellers for Tykes, so to speak?
According to Creed and Sally Chilson, head of the children's section at the Downtown Public Library, they include Go Away, Big Green Monster (in which preschoolers can first assemble a monster face out of brightly colored die-cut pages, then -- to dispel their fears -- take the monster face apart bit by bit); The Bus for Us (kids at a bus stop guess what kind of vehicle is approaching); The Great Gracie Chase (when everybody chases after a missing dog, the mutt keeps running); The Little Red Plane (with lots of tabs to pull and pop-ups for aspiring pilots); and Blueberries for Sal (a human mother-daughter pair go berry-hunting at same time and in the same forest as a mother bear and her cub).
Both Creed and Chilson emphasize that, rather than simply waiting for folks to show up at story times, they're taking the stories to the public beyond library walls. Several times a month, their staffs visit local daycares to tell stories and distribute books. Such outreach programs have their long-term benefits: Creed recounts how "at grocery stores, bag boys come up to me and say, 'You used to read to me at the library.' " As Master Card would say, priceless. So, kids, join the happenin' crowd: grab a book at your local library. Then check it out.