SEARSPORT—What do you get when you combine an illustrated children’s book with a simple walk around a neighborhood?
StoryWalk, a literacy project created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library, is a way to encourage families to get outside and be active while boosting childrens’ literacy.
Carver Memorial Library and local businesses have parterned to present a winter-themed StoryWalk based on the book The Mitten a Ukranian folktale by Jan Brett. In this book, a boy loses a white mitten in the snow and one by one, certain animals crawl in.
Sue McClintock, Library Director at Carver Memorial Library, said the book had been chosen before Russia invaded Ukraine, but that the timing of promoting the contributions of a Ukrainian writer right now couldn’t be any more appropriate.
The book was taken apart and each page is displayed on downtown Searsport business windows, including Splendiferous Sweet Shop, Coastal Cafe and Bakery, Hey Sailor, Strandz Hair Studio, Bog Hill Woodworking, Penobscot Marine Museum, Trove, Artisan Boutique, The Aquarian Gift Shop, and Pay It Forward for Kids.
“One of the reasons we started doing it is because of the pandemic,” said Sue McClintock, Library Director at Carver Memorial Library. “We wanted people to be able to read stories, engage with them, and connect with their families over stories outside.”
The StoryWalk covers a loop of four blocks downtown and will be available until March 15.
“We have done StoryWalks before in partnership with Sears Island for the past couple of years,” said McClintock. “We thought that it would be a good time to offer one downtown in the winter when things are really quiet, and businesses are slow. The businesses are all really excited about it and we’ve gotten a lot of good feedback about it.”
Carver Memorial Library plans on offering more StoryWalks this summer on Sears Island.
To learn more about Carver Memorial Library, visit carverlibrary.org.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org