Carmel Clay Public Library youth services librarian Dawn Boarman sees several benefits a StoryWalk can present.
Each sign of a StoryWalk has a page of a picture book.
“So, as you walk on the path you read the book,” Boarman said. “It’s a way to get people to be outside and promote early literacy and enjoy nature. (Right now) we can’t offer the usual type of programs, but this is a program we can offer at any time of the day and they can social distance.”
This is the third StoryWalk at Harrison Park in the Village of WestClay, which is diagonally across from CCPL’s Joyce Winner West Branch. The StoryWalk featuring “While We Can’t Hug” will be up through Dec. 27.
The book by author Eoin McLaughlin and illustrator Polly Dunbar follows a hedgehog and a tortoise who find new ways to show their friendship while staying apart.
“It’s very timely for children who are having to be apart from a loved one, a family member or grandparent, during the holidays,” Boarman said. “It’s a fun activity. The StoryWalk is great anytime but especially now that there may not be as many places for families to get out of the house to be outside, reading a story and having fun together and getting some exercise.”
When children get to the end of the StoryWalk, there are crafts they can pick up while supplies last at the library’s west branch, using the curbside service.
“There also are ideas within the story that kids can do to stay close to loved ones when you can’t touch them, like singing a song to them or writing a letter or drawing a picture for them,” Boarman said.
Boarman said the first CCPL StoryWalk was held indoors. Last year, an indoor/outdoor StoryWalk was offered. It started in Harrison Park this fall.
CCPL is offering virtual story times through its YouTube channel, take-and-make craft kits for children and teens and adult events and book discussions via Zoom.
The StoryWalk project was originally developed by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vt., and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg Hubbard Library.