By Dottie Dewberry For the WPT
MABEN — After a long hot summer, it is time to begin the Friday morning Story Hour at the Maben Public Library, where the kids listen to stories, draw, color, play with dough and dance to instruction songs. Most activities are geared to learning skills.
The Sept. 7 book was titled “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn. The story is about a young raccoon named Chester that had to begin school, but he did not want to go. Familiar story, right?
Anyway, Chester tried to influence his mother to let him stay home. She tried to persuade him by telling him that he would make new friends, play with new toys, read new books and swing on new swings.
Finally, Chester wiped his tears away when she said that she would tell him a wonderful secret that would make his nights at school seem warm and cozy. She took his little paw and kissed the palm. She told him that her mother had told her, and her mother had told her that this was the Kissing Hand.
Then she said when you feel lonely, press your hand to your cheek and think, “Mommy loves me.” She promised him that the kiss would not wash off. Then Chester took her hand and kissed it, said, “I love you,” and told her that she now had a kissing hand and off he went to school.
After the story, the children practiced connecting the dots that were labeled ABCs instead of numbers. The connected letters formed the picture of a crayon. Next, they practiced writing their name, using markers, on their nametags.
When they finished, Ms. Mary put on the music CD and some of the children danced the hokeypokey with her. The hokeypokey teaches body parts and how to listen and follow directions.
Last, but the most fun, the brand new Play-Doh came out with new scissors, yes, scissors, and pretty soon they were all mashing out letters or cutting hunks out of the dough. This is always the most fun.
After they and their mothers picked out some books, they all trooped down to the front desk and helped Ms. Mary scan the bar codes on their books. Before they left, they all got a piece of gum.