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There was an energy in the room. They were waiting . . . anticipating. It was not often that they were fortunate enough to have a brush with celebrity. It was too exciting for words. After all, Momo is the coolest flying squirrel they know.
More than 300 school children were invited to the Frank Sarris Public Library this past April to hear author/illustrator Zachariah OHora read his book, My Cousin Momo.
The picture book focuses on the theme of acceptance, as the book’s title character, Momo, is a flying squirrel with a unique personality and look that is all his own.
During the program, the kindergartners and first graders listened intently as Mr. OHora read his story. Then, the group watched in amazement as he demonstrated how to draw Momo.
To build on the theme of acceptance, the children were each given a large blank puzzle piece and asked to draw themselves and their families on it. The project was designed to demonstrate that although we all are unique individuals, we are all connected, like one giant puzzle.
Then before leaving the library, each child was given a copy of My Cousin Momo to take home.
The students in attendance sent the library handmade thank you cards in appreciation for the event. In fact, the teachers have reported that the children enjoy My Cousin Momo so much, they request that it be read over and over again in the classroom!
Parents have also expressed their appreciation for the program. One mother wrote on Facebook, “My child had such a wonderful time meeting her favorite author/illustrator. Thank you for having opportunities like this one. What a wonderful way to spark a passion for reading!”