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StoryWalk Takes a Book Outdoors

Vicki Oatis knows that some children just can't sit still for a book. That's why the children's librarian likes the StoryWalk concept, which she is bringing to Norwalk for the second time Saturday.

The Children's Library StoryWalk, which begins at 11 a.m. at the Norwalk Public Library , features a walk to Union Park, where families will travel from station to station to read the pages of "Leaves" by David Ezra Stein. The pages of the book have been removed, laminated and put on stakes. Basically, each page is a sign that the children travel to read.

"This way you're up, you can look at the pictures posted," she said. "It's not necessarily like holding a book, but the children have the option of running between the pages and exerting some energy." She expects the group to return to the library just before noon to hear Dre Towey offer musical entertainment.

The concept originated in Montpelier, Vt., and Oatis held her first StoryWalk in May. She called that a "mini-version;" now that she knows what she's doing, the event will be bigger. Someday, she'd like to leave a book posted outdoors for a week or two. "I love the idea that it gets you out and moving, while enjoying a wonderful story," Oatis said.

"Leaves" is the story of a young bear experiencing his first autumn. He is sad that leaves are falling, but when he awakens from hibernation he discovers new life on the trees.

"It's very sweet message about the changing seasons and change that might happen in all of our lives," she said. "It's a very simple book, but you could read a lot into it."

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