By Pam Harnden, Staff Writer
FAYETTE — Children attending the final day of the Underwood Memorial Library Summer Story Hour learned about Australia, then enjoyed a variety of activities on the lawn.
Librarian Lady Elaine Wilcox introduced guest speaker Senator Tom Saviello (R-Wilton).
Saviello said he and his daughter visited Australia when his son Ben spent a semester studying abroad there.
“We left Thursday and arrived on Saturday. Coming back, we left Saturday and got back on Saturday because we had to cross the International Date Line,” Saviello said.
He showed the children art created by Aborigines, the native people of Australia, a kangaroo wallet and a decorated boomerang. He also showed them a small didgeridoo and blew into it to produce sound.
“The natives can make it into music,” Saviello said.
He spoke about the special animals found in Australia and steps taken to prevent introduction of animals and plants into the country. He also read the book he bought while in Australia, Little Platypus.
Wilcox then read a folk story about how the koala got its stumpy tail. When water was scarce, the koala made excuses to avoid helping to dig for it. A tree kangaroo worked hard and finally found water but the koala jumped in and hoarded it for himself. The kangaroo pulled on the koala’s tail to try to get him away from the water and the tail broke off.
“The koala was lazy, selfish, not a good friend,” she said.
This year, the children then paraded down the ramp to the lawn nearby. They each decorated a reusable tote bag, could make bracelets and get a temporary tattoo. Bean bag toss and other games were also enjoyed.
Later, the children filled their bags with a coloring book, pencils, stickers, a pinwheel and a small bag of candy. They also enjoyed a picnic lunch of finger rolls, vegetables, fruit salad, cheese puffs and dessert.
Wilcox said attendance at story hour this year ranged from 13-28 with an average of 20. She concentrated on continents this year. Each week information from two countries was shared. Stories were read and the country’s flag and map discussed.
“The children learned something and had fun too. It’s been good,” she said.
Wilcox was surprised with a visit from her first great niece, Lillian Zivah Moore. Her family brought Lillian Zivah from Woodland so her first story hour would be Lady Elaine’s.