Friday, July 20, 2012
By ALISA MANNA
Continuing with its dreams and wishes theme, the Canfield library hosted a Dreamy Genie Party on June 26 as part of its summer reading club. The club’s theme is Dream Big — Read!, so Children’s Librarian Jane Adams created the genie event to engage the children in fantasy stories.
Adams thought dressing up like a genie and providing the kids with fun activities would encourage them to read during the summer.
“We just try to make it fun,” Adams said. “We can’t just be all about reading here, so we try other things, too.”
The program began with a memory game, which involved the kids walking around the Cave of Wonders and then describing what they saw. The child who remembered the most received a small prize. Other activities included adapted versions of older children’s games, such as “Mother May I?” and “Hot Potato.”
For “Hot Potato,” Adams played the “Aladdin” sound track and used a toy cobra as the object. “Mother May I?” was turned into “Genie May I?,” and the kids had to ask Adams to grant their wishes.
Aside from the games and activities, Adams read “How the Fisherman Tricked the Genie,” a story about how evil follows evil. She chose the book for its theme involving a genie and because of its message.
“It showed that some of the djin are mean and some are nice,” the librarian said. “But the lesson in it was good because it said evil will only be repaid with evil.”
Adams likes reading stories involving places all over the world and different cultures. She incorporated those tales to get the childrens’ attention and to encourage them to read more on their own time.
Other genie books she suggested were “The Arabian Nights” and “The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story.” Though she didn’t have time to read all three books, Adams said each are great fantasy stories.
Toward the end of the day, the librarians had the children work on a craft. Adams came up with the idea of making a genie in a cup to go along with the dreams and wishes theme. The kids were given plastic cups and supplies to create their own genie in a lamp.
Upcoming contests and programs will maintain the same theme but incorporate different ideas and activities, featuring guest presenters and more.
“The library makes a wonderful summer reading program,” Maggie Tower said. “It really encourages the kids to read throughout the summer.” Tower’s daughters, Rory and Regan, were both involved in the games and activities, along with a group of kids from the Greasel Park day camp.