Wildlife Encounters wraps summer reading program
The 2021 summer reading program at the Morton-James Public Library concluded Monday morning with Animal Tales from Wildlife Encounters in Gretna.
Attendees were treated to visits from six animal friends--a three-banded armadillo, an alligator, a red-tailed boa constrictor, an African pygmy hedgehog, a kinkajou, and a red kangaroo--as well as animal-themed books to tie into this year’s theme of “Tails and Tales.”
Volunteers from the audience were asked to close their eyes and extend their hands to try to guess which animal they would be holding as each new creature was introduced.
Wildlife educator Jillian Lenz placed five of the six animals in the children’s hands (she handled Peanut Butter the hedgehog without audience assistance) and asked the children to identify what they were holding sight unseen.
She also asked the children to describe the texture of the animal’s coat to the audience before each received a quiet “finger-clap” round of applause for their efforts.
Lenz showed the audience how to finger-clap before the first animal came out of its travel carrier to ensure no animals would be startled by loud noises during the program.
Lenz matched a book with each animal during her presentation. Her suggestions were as follows:
For Tater Tot the armadillo, Willow the Armadillo by Marilou Reeder;
For Mr. Nubs the alligator, See You Later, Alligator by Sally Hopwood;
For Snickers the red-tailed boa, Disney’s The Jungle Book;
For Peanut Butter the hedgehog, When I Get Bigger by Mercer Mayer;
For Bungee the kinkajou (also known as a honeybear), Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne; and
For Chuck the red kangaroo, Pouch! by David Ezra Stein.