People that love books are a special breed. They can disappear into the pages of some volume for so long that you’re afraid they’ll never come back. But when they do, they always have something interesting to say.
The ones who are so in love with the magic of reading that they make a career out of sharing it with children, well, they’re even more special. And we as Portlanders are lucky. Our library is full of such unique souls, all striving to show kids the wonder of words. The Portland Public Library features three events this week that will get the youngsters excited about literacy and all it entails.
First, the PPL joins with the Portland Youth Film Festival to present a screening of The Art of Memory: Stories from Maine's Outer Islands, a shadow puppet film co-created by students from the islands of coastal Maine, telling stories about history and regional folk tales. The film will be shown on Thursday, March 16 at 4:30 p.m. Join library staff and other viewers for a Q&A session with director and puppetmaster Ian Bannon, of Celebration Barn and Figures of Speech Theatre, shortly after. The presentation also includes individual student films.
Next, for younger kids, it’s Let Them Play! Nature Play with Lynn Rutter, on Saturday, March 18 at 2 p.m. This interactive program is about the onset of spring, and what birds do in nature during the season. For every kid who has ever brought home an empty bird's’ nest and set it on the windowsill, or spent all afternoon watching the jays, finches and chickadees outside, Nature Play will teach them everything they wanted to know. The series Let Them Play! is about developing children’s early literacy and language skills. Lynn Rutter, M.A. is the director of a nature-based preschool in Portland that encourages unstructured play in natural environments to support physical, intellectual, academic, emotional and social learning, right at home.
Speaking of home child care and teaching, if you are a homeschooler, or thinking of becoming one, check out the PPL’s Homeschool Meet & Greet on Thursday, March 23 at 10:30 a.m. This half-day event is your chance to meet the Teen and Children’s librarians at the main branch, get a tour, network with other like-minded families, and learn about the library’s resources. There will be a light schedule of activities, but nothing so stringent as to prevent plenty of exploration at your kids’ own pace. And, don’t forget, always fun and games.
So go see some of these rare literary souls right in Monument Square.
Portland Public Library: https://www.portlandlibrary.com/ or 207-871-1700.