If you've attended a program at one of our Fauquier County libraries, you know that we LOVE to read books and we LOVE to have fun. And judging from the comments and compliments we receive from attendees, the fun extends both ways. I'll get back to a regular schedule of reviews next week, starting with a trip to Austalia next Monday.
If it's the third Saturday of the month, then it must be Paws to Read Day! Even though tomorrow is predicted to be cold and wet, we hope you'll include a Warrenton library run in your Saturday morning plans. Miles (our German Shepherd "library dog," as his human likes to call him) will be ready and waiting to listen to you read stories about dogs and stories about St. Patrick's Day (everyone, even Miles, is Irish on St. Patrick's Day).
Miles was an assistance dog for a blind gentleman for several years. He is now retired. Like some retirees, he still feels the need to work from time to time, and we are so happy that he visits our library. Miles is a big boy, but he is very gentle and patient. He's a very dignified dog, so he won't slobber all over you and act like you've been best buds forever, like some other dog breeds we COULD mention but we WON'T. Oh, no....Miles is polite to everyone, however, and accepts pats and compliments very calmly. He would accept doggie treats from you as well, but Mrs. Anderson has had the final say on the matter, at least during Paws to Read. The picture on our flyer is a perfect illustration of his demeanor. You see big ol' Miles, looking straight at the photographer with his bat ears at attention. Next to him is the Andersons' cat, who looks small enough to fit inside Miles's impressive snout. I have been assured that the Anderson cat and Miles coexist in a peaceable kingdom, after the cat reconciled itself to Miles's presence.The cat does remind Miles from time to time exactly WHO was in the house first.
You may be wondering why we have the Paws to Read program. There are many programs like this in libraries and schools across the country, under different names. The basic premise is to get beginning readers comfortable with reading aloud. Unlike a teacher, parent, or classmate, a dog won't judge. A dog won't correct. A dog won't tease. Our Paws to Read program is a way for your child to practice reading aloud in a safe, relaxed, and fun atmosphere. Mrs. Anderson and I are always in the room with the children and Miles. As a retired assistance dog, Miles has manners fit for the White House (whether Barney and Miss Beazley have manners fit for the White House, we don't know).
Paws to Read is every third Saturday of the month at the Warrenton library. We start at 10:00 and Miles usually stays for an hour. We also have Paws to Read at our John Marshall branch on the first and third Wednesday of the month, starting at 4 pm (Miles does not visit the Marshall branch; several assistance/therapy dogs are in charge there).
On March 26, make plans to attend the Bealeton branch's Learn How to Save the Earth program. You'll play a game in honor of the earth and meet the nature ranger Ed E. Earth. The fun starts at 4 pm. We are grateful to the Fauquier County Environmental Services for presenting this program.
Ramona fans, take note. We will celebrate Beverly Cleary's birthday at all three branches. We'll have activities based on the Ramona books, make a craft based on the Ramona books, and have a treat based on the Ramona books. I'm not sure what I'll serve: either doughnuts and apple juice based on the Halloween parade in Ramona the Pest or fig newtons and apple juice based on Ramona's impromptu party in Beezus and Ramona. No matter what is served...as Ramona would say (in Beezus and Ramona), "We're going to have a par-tee!"
The Beverly Cleary party (and kickoff for National Library Week, give or take a few days) will be on these dates and locations:
Monday, April 9 at the John Marshall library: 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 10 at the Bealeton library: 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 14 at the Warrenton library: 11 a.m.
Harold and the Purple Crayon fans, we have a program for you. We'll read stories and you'll get a chance to create your own "Harold." The program will be at these dates and locations:
Saturday, April 21 at the Warrenton library: 11 a.m.
Monday, April 30 at the Bealeton library: 4:30 p.m.
As always, registration is not required, and all events are free.