‘Pirate Tales’ delight kids

Published 10:50 am Friday, July 2, 2010

Upcoming summer special events at the Albert Lea Public Library

July 8: Okee Dokee Brothers at 2 and 3 p.m.

July 15: Bingo at 2 p.m.

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July 22: Zoo-man at 2 and 3 p.m.

Weekly programs

Storytime: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

Library Afternoon Fun: Tuesdays at 2 p.m.

Art Zones Studio: Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Movie Day: Wednesdays at 2 p.m.

Night-time storytime: Thursdays at 6 p.m.

Editor’s note: Coverage of Albert Lea Public Library is what would have been on the June 18 front page had tornadoes not struck the area on the evening of June 17.

Stories can be better than gold.

That’s the message Captain Kevin the Pirate shared with a group of more than 100 children and parents at the Albert Lea Public Library the afternoon before the June 17 tornadoes.

Under the theme of “Pirate Tales,” Kevin Strauss, author, storyteller and motivational speaker from Rochester, shared the ins and outs of being a pirate along with how to tell a story.

“When you have a story in your head, you can share it with others,” he encouraged the children.

Dressed in pirate garb — including an eye patch, bandanna and clothes — Strauss taught the children pirate lingo and how to dress like a pirate, in between stories.

What do you say if you’re frustrated?

“Argh!” he said.

What about if you’re excited about something?

“Say, ‘Shiver me timbers!’” he added.

The group repeated each.

He said the three laws of pirate storytelling include being a pirate, getting the audience involved and finding a story at the library or some other place.

To become a pirate, people must first have the proper attitude, talk like a pirate and then begin.

He let an eager volunteer try on pirate clothes, including a patch, a bag to carry gold, a bandanna, boots, a shirt and shorts.

“If you want to be a pirate, it’s fairly easy to find all the supplies,” Krauss said.

Children’s librarian Patty Greibrok said she had heard Strauss present a folktale before in a different setting.

“It’s good to hear someone tell a story and have the children learn how to tell a story,” Greibrok said.

She noted it is becoming more difficult to get children to listen to stories without animal puppets or other visual aids.

Pirate Tales is one of several events put on at the Albert Lea Public Library this summer as part of the 2010 summer reading program, which goes through July 25.

In the program, children are encouraged to read books and receive prizes, and there are special events and weekly programs, too.

This year’s theme is “Make a Splash — Read.”

Special events so far this summer have included magician Jim Jayes, Pirate Tales, Mall of America Underwater Adventure, and a Red, White and Blue Party.

Later this summer are the Okee Dokee Brothers on July 8, Bingo on July 15 and Zoo-man on July 22.

During the Pirate Tales event June 17, Greibrok said the summer reading program was already about 250 people ahead of last year — and that was just in the first week.

Greibrok said events are made possible through the Albert Lea Friends of the Library.

To reach the Albert Lea Public Library children’s room, call 377-4356.