DECATUR — A kindhearted fairy saw an old woman living in a vinegar bottle and heard her complain about the tight quarters. She granted her wish for a cottage with climbing roses on the walls.
The old woman didn’t thank her, and next time the fairy saw the old woman, she was complaining about the cottage. No matter how grand the residence the fairy provided, the woman was complaining in no time, and the fairy finally put her back in her vinegar bottle.
“It just goes to show you,” said Alissa Henkel, portraying the fairy, “happiness comes from the heart, not from the house.”
Henkel and Susan Bishop, who work for the children’s department at the Decatur Public Library, kicked off the school year Wednesday at Holy Family School with their lively READiculous show, a brand-new one for this year. The women read aloud from children’s books, acting out the parts in costume and often encouraging their young audience to participate, as a way to make reading attractive and fun.
One thing they always do is read from the books instead of memorizing the stories they act out.
“We want kids to make the connection between the book and the fun,” Bishop said.
That also keeps their portrayals fresh and spontaneous, and when they try something different and the kids respond, they try to remember to do it the next time.
Their presentations are free to schools within the city of Decatur and available to schools outside the city for a nominal fee. Their hope is to appear at every school, and they’re already planning shows at several, Henkel said.
And it’s working. The books they use in the show are always checked out of the library, and the most popular ones are hard to get, even when the library orders extra in anticipation of demand, Bishop said.
Fifth-grader Chase Mason said he enjoyed the show, even if the books were a little young for him.
“I love to read, and I just love books, any books,” he said.
Kindergartners Alyssa Porter and Alyssa Thompson both chose Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” as their favorite of the morning’s selections. Alyssa Thompson is very familiar with the children’s department at the library, too.
“I’m in the summer thing (reading program), and I go there all the time,” she said.
You can find the two women on Facebook at www.facebook.
com/ReallyREADiculous, with photos from recent shows and a schedule of upcoming shows, or call the Decatur Public Library at 424-2900.
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