Originally created 04/12/06

Story time steps up its character with kids, librarian in costume



Donnell Shelley looked at the list of items she was to accomplish.

"Dust the furniture," she read. "At my house, we undust the furniture."

She turned and picked up a container from the table behind her and held it up.

The dusting powder should work well, she said, lightly pouring the powder on the children who had gathered at the Nancy Carson Library on Thursday.

Ms. Shelley was portraying the storybook character of Amelia Bedelia, who takes everything literally.

During the skit, Ms. Shelley performed other things Amelia Bedelia did in her first book, Amelia Bedelia.

On the list left by Mrs. Rogers, portrayed by Jan Bowman, there were nine items on the list, including drawing the drapes, stamping the important letters and making a sponge cake.

After Ms. Shelley had completed the list, Ms. Bowman returned to the skit to find out what Amelia Bedelia had accomplished.

To her horror, Ms. Bowman discovered Ms. Shelley had drawn a picture of the drapes, jumped up and down on the letters and made a sponge cake out of pink kitchen sponges.

Ms. Shelley and Ms. Bowman weren't the only ones in character for story time; the children who attended also dressed up as their favorite book characters, such as Lucy from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Cinderella, Bob the Builder and Snow White.

"Amelia Bedelia was my favorite character growing up," Ms. Shelley said. "In third grade, my teacher told me I was too old for Amelia Bedelia. I tell kids you are never too old for your favorite books."

The story time was a special event during National Library Week, which was April 2-8.

"We planned events to promote reading as educational and recreational fun," Ms. Shelley said.

Other events included a craft time for the younger pupils, a poetry workshop for middle and high school pupils, and a movie night featuring the newly released The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The week culminated with a celebration of cultures Saturday featuring a bilingual story time, a bluegrass performance and a display of American Indian artifacts.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.