Toddlers rock North Shelby Library

Toddlers, mommies and a few grandmas formed a circle in the floor.

“Ms. Kristy” (Kristy Hearn) held a hand puppet and all eyes were focused.

Who’s next?

The song began, “We’re here for story time, saying, ‘Hooray for Braden!'” and then, every child’s name was called in a song.

The setting was North Shelby Library, and it was indeed story time, with Hearn in full control of a group of wiggling toddlers. The program was fast paced, full of many things to interest little ones, and teach at the same time.

First there’s a puppet named “Shush Puppy” who responds to the children telling them to settle down and listen. Then Hearn told a fish story, but not a tale in which the fish grows each time it’s told. No indeed!

This was a magic fish that changed colors and characteristics. Toddlers were calling out, “Red lobster” and “pink starfish.” One cutie called out “applepuss” for octupus. Hearn’s acting skills were well-tested as she imitated each type of creature.

Then all the children became fish, too.

Little ones were wiggly as worms. Hearn took cue, and began a song, “All the fish swayed … bubble, bubble, bubble, pop!” Then she began anew with, “Can you find your nose?”

Various body parts were named and found. Toddlers were quite giggly by this time. Library assistant Jordan Cotney assisted Hearn in handing out bean bags, while the room rocked with music.

“Shake, shake, shake you bean bags,” Hearn said.

The children sang and danced.

Bud’s Best Cookies in Hoover donated snacks for everyone. Kids began a take-home craft, fish pictures, of course. And then the fun really took off. Hearn blew bubbles while toddlers jumped, grabbing for floating bubbles that landed on cheeks and heads.

There are many things a pre-school child can do during summer. But none will be as much fun or offer lasting memories and learning opportunities like a trip to the library … especially during story time.

Toddler’s story time is at 10:30 Monday mornings. Registration is at the children’s department every week. Call 439-5504 and leave a message, if there’s no answer.

A forthcoming event at North Shelby Library includes a visit from Willa Brigham, host of the Emmy Award-winning television show Smart Start Kids. This storyteller, writer and performing artist will be at the library June 23 at 1 p.m. to entertain children.