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Close-up look at nature

Kids meet exotic animals at library

Posted: July 25, 2008 1:35 a.m.
Updated: September 25, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Connor Young, 4, sticks his tongue out at Fred, an Australian Bearded Dragon, hoping to see what color his is, as mom Pam and Nicole Acquaviva, 12, watch Thursday afternoon during the Valentine's Traveling Nature Class tour at the Jo Anne Darcy Canyon Country Public Library.

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The Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library was busy with creepy crawlers and a few fuzzy creatures on Thursday when the library hosted “Valentine’s Nature Class,” giving around 100 youngsters an up close look at nature.

During the afternoon show for pre-schoolers, John Valentine gave an introduction of each creature before passing it to a child. Crowded around a variety of snakes, lizards and even a wallaby named Matilda, kids touched and held the animals as Valentine gave them a lesson in nature.

Community library manager Marta Wiggins said around 40 pre-school age kids attended the first showing while the two later shows brought more than 80 elementary school kids.

“It was almost standing room only,” she said. “Kids were lined up outside and all the way around the children’s area.”

While Wiggins said the summer shows at the library are always popular, “Valentine’s Nature Class” draws a big crowd because the animal specialist visits annually.

“I think kids like animals,” she said. “And parents like them, too.”

The animal display is one of a bunch of summer shows, including two magic shows and a balloon presentation.

Although the types of shows range in theme, the program series has one hope.

“Our goal is to provide the community services and to make the library a community place.” Wiggins said adding the program, “Encourages and exposes them to a variety of information.”


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