New Lynden interactive storybook trail part of events for Children's Book Week

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 8, 2014 

Whatcom County will host a slew of fun literary events for young readers as part of the 95th annual Children's Book Week, which runs May 12 to May 18.

Each year libraries, bookstores and schools put together fun activities throughout the week to encourage youngsters to pick up books and get reading.

As part of the national event, parents can help their kids go to bookweekonline.com to vote for their favorite books and print an official bookmark.

One of the most exciting local events scheduled for the week is opening of the interactive Lynden StoryWalk trail. The new, permanent StoryWalk will follow the Jim Kaemingk Sr. City Trail along Fishtrap Creek and feature laminated pages from children's picture books along the path. StoryWalks are designed to get kids reading and outdoors at the same time.

"We partnered with the City Parks Department and they immediately got on board," said Sarah Ward, branch manager for Lynden Public Library. "Our local high school shop class built the stands we're putting the images in, and other groups donated time and funds; it was a very community-oriented project."

The opening ceremony will start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 17 at Million Smiles Playground Park (also known as City Park), at 8460 Depot Road in Lynden.

The first 50 walkers will get a free copy of the first featured book, "Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska," which was written by Deb Vanasse and illustrated by Erik Brooks.

"Children want you to read the same things to them over and over again," Ward said. "That's how they really learn vocabulary and learn language. If they have the book and can come and do the StoryWalk, that will be reinforcement."

Brooks, who is based in Winthrop, will lead the first walk.

The library hopes to change out the featured story each season, Ward said.

The project is co-sponsored by the Whatcom County Library System, and was spearheaded by Lynden children's librarian Tina Bixby, Ward said.

After the walk, Brooks will lead a workshop at 1:30 p.m. at Lynden Public Library for adults and students in grades 8 through 12 about writing children's books. Then he'll head over to Village Books for a reading of his children's books at 4 p.m.

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Village Books will host several children's authors who will read from their books in the store, located at 1200 11th Street in Bellingham.

-- Author Gretchen Wing will talk about her book for middle readers, "The Flying Burgowski," at 7 p.m. Monday, May 12.

-- Author MaryAnn Kohl will lead a free craft workshop for supervised kids 3 and older at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 14. Crafters will make sparkly crowns they can take home, and can listen to Kohl read from one of her favorite children's books about hats.

-- Author Patrick Jennings will present "Odd, Weird and Little," a book for middle readers, at 4 p.m. May 15.

-- Anna Dedney, author of the Llama Llama book series, will present her newest book, "Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too," at 11 a.m. May 17 in the Readings Gallery.

-- Local children's authors will read for 20 to 30 minutes from their own books and other favorite titles starting at 1 p.m. May 17 at the bench in the kids' section. Derek Munson, Andrea Gabriel, and Danika Dinsmore are among the authors and illustrators who will read from their works through 3 p.m.

Reach Samantha Wohlfeil at Samantha.Wohlfeil@bellinghamherald.com.

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