One cool friend by Toni Buzzeo is the delightful story of a boy who befriends a penguin, and it's coming to life through song and dance at the Children's Festival of Reading. It will then tour 10 branches of the Knox County Public Library system. Dollywood has taken the book, which is part of the Imagination Library collection, and set it to song and dance. One of the songs was written by Dolly herself. Following the Library tour the show, presented by the Penguin Players, will play at Dollywood June 14–August 4.
The public is invited to watch as well-mannered Elliot visits the aquarium with his distracted father, and politely asks whether he can have a penguin—then proceeds to remove one from the penguin pool to his backpack!
One cool friend kicks off the Children's Festival of Reading on May 17 at 10:00 in World's Fair Park. The free performances will tour the following branch libraries:
- Monday, May 19 at 11:00 at South Knoxville Branch Library
- Monday, May 19 at 4:00 at Norwood Branch Library
- Tuesday, May 20 at 11:00 at Halls Branch Library
- Tuesday, May 20 at 3:00 at Bearden Branch Library
- Wednesday, May 21 at 11:00 at Burlington Branch Library
- Wednesday, May 21 at 3:00 at North Knoxville Branch Library
- Thursday, May 22 at 10:00 at Sequoyah branch Library
- Thursday, May 22 at 4:00 at Corryton Branch Library
- Friday, May 23 at 10:30 at Powell Branch Library
- Friday, May 23 at 2:00 at Fountain City Branch Library
About summer reading
Research shows that summer reading is one of the most important steps in preventing academic backslide through the summer months, particularly for struggling readers. UTK's Dr. Richard Allington and Dr. Anne McGill-Franzen have found that voluntary selection of materials and access to books over the summer can have as much impact as attending summer school. Knox County Public Library's summer reading programs encourage readers of all ages to read or be read to for 20 minutes each day. When readers reach their reading goals, they will earn a prize pack valued at over $200. In addition to a rewards book with free entrance to area attractions and free eats and treats, listeners will earn a sand bucket and shovel, and older children who are reading on their own will earn a paint-your-own wooden snake. Teens will earn a rewards book as well as the chance to win an ereader. Adults in the program will be entered to win an ereader. Registration for the Summer Library Clubs opens on May 18 at the Children's Festival of Reading, online at www.knoxlib.org or at any Knox County Public Library facility.