At the Indian Health Center, I learned that on April 18th, a local Barnes & Noble was going to be hosting a four hour activity/storytime/music extravaganza. So, naturally, Kelly and I were going to be there!
I made sure to get there early, because I expected it would only get more crowded over time. Outside the store, several booths were set up with activities and information for preschoolers, and Kelly planted a cucumber seed in a small cup.
When we got inside, an exercise class had already begun in the children’s area, with a princess, Prince Charming, Carmen Miranda, and Scooby Doo as part of the background exercise team:
I’m jealous: Scooby-Doo never comes to my exercise classes. Kelly happily hopped around, trying to follow the instructions, and even did The Macarena for the first of what will undoubtedly be many times in her life.
Following a raffle ticket giveaway, we went to another area for a storytime featuring The Belly Book, and snacks. I think the latter got more attention than the book! There was a short interlude to instruct parents on how to read to their children, but after 10 years of experience in the same, and with 2 children who can read independently, I think I can skip it. I followed Kelly to yet another area, where she got a recipe book, and made her own trail mix.
I reward her for her schoolwork with books, and Kelly was due for one, so we took a break to go book shopping. Kelly wanted to read all the books, but eventually settled on a Mo Willems book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus.
But then we distracted by the concert that was just beginning. The Papa Hugs Band put on a full kiddie concert with silly songs. For almost every song, there was a character or some zany action. For instance, here’s the Stinkbug from the Stingbug song:
On cue, the bug would spray the audience, and Kelly held her nose firmly closed.
while those who weren’t doing the same cried “Euuwwww!”
At one point, Papa Hugs encouraged his audience to toot along by handing out kazoos, and later, he got a bubble machine going which got all the children (including Kelly whose stretched up hands are near the front) to rush the stage:
By this time, I’d had enough exitement, especially considering that I was planning on bringing Kelly to another storytime later that day. But Kelly wanted to stick around, so we went to see Elina Wong give a presentation on her book about child-friendly activities in the Bay Area. The book was appropriate to the occassion: it was all about things to do when you get off the couch, and it looked appealing and well done. However, talking about your book in the slot right after a concert at which kazoos were distributed was clearly not ideal. Kelly saw enough to know she wants to go strawberry picking at Gizdich Ranch, but eventually she came around to my feeling that it was time to leave this big party scene for others.
All in all, at least for the 2-1/2 hours we were there, it was fun, zany time. The staff seemed slightly surprised at the robust attendance, but I wasn’t.