PILOT MOUNTAIN — In a tradition began by Children’s Librarian Sandy Phillips, dozens of children from the Pilot Mountain area gathered in their pajamas at Charles H. Stone Memorial Library to hear holiday bedtime stories on recently.
For more than a dozen years, “Ms. Sandy” has built a giant bed in the library’s basement to accommodate up to a hundred children in a single sitting. With teddy bears and blankets in hand, the young participants settle in for a journey into the land of imagination through storytelling. According to Aidan Harpe, 7, the big bed is one of the best parts of the event.
This year a guest storyteller, Vicky Town, shared three tales. A resident of Fancy Gap, Virginia, Town has been sharing stories with audiences of all ages through writing, acting, and storytelling for more than 25 years.
With great expression and enthusiasm Town encouraged the children to become part of the stories by physically acting out sections. In a story about wishing for snow, the audience crossed fingers, arms, and legs for luck while joining in a repetitive chant, “let’s go, let’s go, we want snow!”
For the second story the lights were turned low, changing the mood to match the calmer story of an old lady. “The old lady was nice and kind,” said Sam Slate, 9, explaining why it was his favorite story.
The evening ended with cookies and hot chocolate for everyone present. Library staff had prepared for 100, and had plenty for all who came.
Amongst the fun, was a touch of sadness for some, as Phillips said, “this is my last story time; you parents have blessed me by letting me know your children,” explaining that her retirement will begin next week.
Gabriel Harpe, 11, said, “I’m glad for her, but sad she’s leaving.”
The library is holding a coffee and cookies reception on Dec. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. as a farewell for Phillips. “We encourage the whole community to come,” said Head Librarian Anna Nichols.
Diane Blakemore may be reached at 336-368-2222 or on twitter @PilotReporter.