The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine opened its theatre to Raising Readers and first on the stage was pediatrician Stephen Osborne of South Portland Pediatrics. Dr. Osborne, who has been giving Raising Readers books to his young patients for almost 12 years, talked about the pleasure of putting a book in a child’s hands and starting them on a “lifetime of reading.”
Dr. Osborne encouraged families at the event to read books to their children at bedtime–advice he gives to families as often as he can at well-child visits. With Maine’s biggest winter storm of the year having hit the previous day, he took the opportunity to recommend his favorite children’s book, Katy and the Big Snow.
The talk of books moved to springtime when Maine children’s book creators, Ann and John Hassett followed Dr. Osborne to the stage. Their picture book, Too Many Frogs! is included in the new Raising Readers anthology, Maine Stories for Maine Children: A Raising Readers Collection. In the book, poor Nana Quimby finds she has a cellar full of frogs. The gathered families had a grand time yelling, “Too many frogs!” in unison with author and Nobleboro, Maine school principal, Ann Hassett.
The Hassetts’ picture book, Cat Up a Tree, also featuring Nana Quimby, was included in a previous Raising Readers anthology. While some families chose to go play in the museum, others elected to hear one more story and got to hear author and illustrator John Hassett read this Nana story. The parents had a good laugh when John had to explain the scene in the book where Nana throws her phone. The phone, a land line with a cord, allows some tree-stranded cats to cross to her apartment. Several kids volunteered that their grandmother might have one of “those old phones.”
The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine‘s wonderful education staff followed the Hassett’s read aloud with a frog painting activity that taught children about how amphibian skin both absorbs and repels water. So clever!
Raising Readers would like to thank the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, the Hassetts, and Dr. Osborne for a wonderful night celebrating Too Many Frogs! We look forward to distributing Maine Stories for Maine Children: A Raising Readers Collection in 2012 and to the thought of so many Maine families reading about Nana Quimby (and her frogs) together at bedtime.
Enjoy this slideshow of images from the evening: