Something I love about storytelling is the way it brings people together. That is the very reason it can be hard to come by in our current world of social distancing. Many storytellers, including some of our wonderful librarians, have moved their storytimes to a virtual space and discovered creative new ways to connect readers to books in all formats. For those times when we need to step away from screens and social media, we do not need to leave the books behind.
Story strolls and story walks have been around for some time. Picture books are taken apart *gasp* and posted, page by page, along a scenic walk or trail. People can come for the story and get a little exercise or come for a stroll and enjoy a self-guided storytime. Enjoying a story stroll requires no direct human contact or physical interaction. If you can enjoy picture books and are mobile, or have a household member to help you out with either, you can take part in the story. Popularized by Anne Ferguson and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library of Vermont, this simple concept took on a life of its own. In Philadelphia, Wissahickon Environmental Center provides rotating Story Book Trails by their Tree House.
Kingsessing Library has brought its own Story Stroll to their Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood. Going Down Home with Daddy, written by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Daniel Minter, is available to read as a walk around the Kingsessing Park and Recreation Center at 51st Street and Kingsessing Avenue. This display of an award-winning picture book about a family reunion in the summertime starts in front of the Kingsessing Library by the bike racks, continues in a loop around the park and in front of the recreation center, and ending back in front of the library.
Going Down Home With Daddy was selected with the support of A Book A Day. With the help of A Book A Day, Kingsessing Library had invited author Kelly Starling Lyons to present a virtual program later on in the Summer. Ms. Lyons has canceled the event, however, in solidarity with the Concerned Black Workers of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Enjoy your walk and let us know what you think on Facebook @FLPKingsessingBranch and use the hashtag #FLPStoryStroll
P.S. You don't have to leave your home to enjoy Going Down Home with Daddy or any of the Free Library’s selection of electronic picture books about family!
Here's just a sampling:
A little girl's daddy steps in to help her arrange her curly, coiling, wild hair into styles that allow her to be her natural, beautiful self.
My Papi Has a Motorcycle
When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there. With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl's love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.
Stella Brings the Family
Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? It's not that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn't have a mom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.
When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words. With spare, direct text by Minh L ̊and luminous illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this stirring picture book about reaching across barriers will be cherished for years to come.
For the young girl in Hope, weekends at her great-aunt Poogee's are the best. Aunt Poogee makes incredible fried chicken, tells great stories, and knows lots of interesting people. But this visit takes an unexpected turn when the pair encounters an ill-mannered friend. It takes Aunt Poogee's special touch to heal a child hurt by words of ignorance and disrespect.
A Family Is a Family Is a Family
When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways -- but the same in the one way that matters most of all. One child is worried that her family is just too different to explain, but listens as her classmates talk about what makes their families special. One is raised by a grandmother, and another has two dads. One is full of stepsiblings, and another has a new baby.
In this story that introduces numbered groups from one to ten, we realize that families can be many things.
Using illustrations that show the diversity in Native America and spare poetic text that emphasizes fry bread in terms of provenance, this volume tells the story of a post-colonial food that is a shared tradition for Native American families all across the North American continent. Includes a recipe and an extensive author note that delves into the social ways, foodways, and politics of America's 573 recognized tribes.
Yo Soy Muslim
A lyrical celebration of multiculturalism as a parent shares with a child the value of their heritage and why it should be a source of pride, even when others disagree.
Bilal Cooks Daal
Bilal and his father invite his friends to help make his favorite dish, daal, then all must wait patiently for it to be done.