The books of Mo Willems came to life on Saturday, July 13 at the Secaucus Library as dozens of town children attended “Elephant & Piggie Day.”
The Elephant and Piggie books are an early reader series about a friendly elephant and pig. Willems’ creations have won literary awards for five of the last six years.
“The author is really popular with the kids,” said library desk clerk Lauren Fitzpatrick.
Presented by the library’s Youth Department, the daylong celebration featured hourly story times, Elephant and Piggie-themed crafts, coloring exercises, games, and prizes.
Kaori Lemise of Secaucus was there with daughter Laila, 7, and son Tyler, 2, who wanted to learn and have fun.
“We come to the library often and we saw the advertisement,” said Kaori. “They have a lot of events. It’s a very nice library. We’re so happy with this event and everything. They have a lot of activities for kids.”
“I most like the books, because I like to read,” said Laila. “I like how we made the pigs and elephants with paper.”
Niranjan Ghanekar stopped by with her 3-year-old son, Rucha.
“We take a lot of books and read them,” she said. “He also uses the computer.”
Rucha was at the coloring station, already having finished pig-face making and the eggs-on-the-head balancing exercise.
“But he didn’t do it for too long,” Niranjan said disappointedly.
“I like how we made the pigs and elephants with paper.” – Laila Lemise
In the adjacent Story Room, Ceil Mucciolo, Children’s Department supervisor, read selections from “Pigs Make Me Sneeze” to a large throng. “Happy Pig Day” and “Elephants Cannot Dance” were among the other featured books. Willems also wrote Don’t Let the Pigeon on the Bus.
The day also featured the raffling off copies of Willems’ books and plush characters of Pigeon, Elephant, and Piggie.
Something to do
The residents attending were glad they had a local event to take their children to, especially with the high-80/low-90 degree temperatures.
“Especially on the weekends, this is a nice thing they’ve come up with,” Ghanekar said.
Library officials were pleased with the turnout, and happy the event was a success.
“All together, we had about 80 people, including children and parents,” said Lanora Melillo, youth services librarian.
“And obviously, by the turnout, it worked, so we’re very pleased,” Mucciolo said.
Cups Frozen Yogurt – That’s Hot on Plaza Drive was a major supporter of the event, co-sponsoring raffle prizes.
Elephant and Piggie Day is one of many programs being offered this summer at the library. The Youth Department’s next major event is the family concert featuring “Yosi and Special Guest Monster Eugene” on Saturday, July 27 at 11 a.m.
For more information about upcoming events and book reading challenges, contact Melillo at SPLYouths@gmail.com or (201) 330-2083.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.