Stories come to life for young readers

EVART – More than 30 young readers laughed in the audience as Michigan's family funnyman Joel Tacey told stories, performed tricks and brought books to life at the Evart Depot July 11.

Dressed in plaid pajamas and slippers, Tacey performed the Pajama Jam Comedy Show, adding fun twists to popular

bedtime stories such as Goodnight Moon, Jack and the Beanstalk and Alice in Wonderland.

Tacey’s show was the finale of the Evart Public Library annual summer reading program that brought 120 elementary-aged readers to the library to read over the course of the summer program.

“We think it’s worthwhile to keep kids reading in the summer,” said Lilas VanScoyoc, Evart Public Library director. "We've been playing book bingo (during the summer reading program) and the kids read books in different categories and get rewards for it.”

Rewards for readers include gift certificates for free ice cream from McDonalds as well as certificates and prizes from BC Pizza and others.

This year was the first time Tacey, a professional storyteller from southern Michigan, has performed for the Evart Public Library, but professional story tellers come almost every year for the library program, VanScoyoc said.

“The kids really seemed to enjoy (the performance),” she said.

The event was made possible partially through funds raised at recent Evart Public Library fundraisers such as the annual bake sale in June and the live auction in April at the Moose Lodge.