In late August, author/ illustrator Anne Sibley O’Brien delighted 25 kids from Step by Step Day Care in a story hour at the Henry D. Moore Library in Steuben as part of IRW’s Getting the Right Start initiative. Drawing on the Whole Book Approach to reading picture books with children, Annie engaged this lovely group in deep conversation about the artwork and their visual interpretation of her book, “I’m New Here,” a 2016 Maine State Library Cream of the Crop choice. Children were so engrossed in Anne’s descriptions and questions about the cover of the book that they didn’t notice the book hadn’t been opened until Anne said, “We just learned all that information without even turning a page!”
After story hour, Annie personally-inscribed a copy of the book for each child. As they waited their turn, kids showed off their artistic talents with paper and markers.
IRW’s Getting the Right Start program aims to improve literacy skill development, connect reading with art and promote a love of learning to help pre-K children get the right start in school. The Moore Library is one of five sites where programs will begin to take form over the coming months.