Bob Keeshan will bring his brand of childhood magic to Maryland this weekend as he visits two Zany Brainy bookstores to sign copies of his "Family Fun Activity Book.
Filled with suggestions on creative family play, the book's activities are largely derived from the playful fun of Mr. Keeshan's children's television show. He was the master of make-believe on "Captain Kangaroo" for 36 years.
Mr. Keeshan wrote the book as a reference for games and activities that families can enjoy together, including clay craft projects, papier-mache planet projects, toilet paper body-wrapping races and giant milk-carton dice games.
"There is a need for it today more than ever before," he said in a phone interview yesterday. "It can be difficult for today's busy grown-ups to handle all the demands placed on us. But the one thing that children need above all else is a reasonable amount of our time."
The activities are designed to develop children's self-esteem and character through active participation and imagination. "When a child sees that the very most important person in the world [a parent] is giving time to be with them, the child thinks, 'so I must be important, too,' " Mr. Keeshan said.
The book-signings are them selves family activities.
"I enjoy meeting not only contemporary children, but yesterday's children as well. It's nice to talk about the experiences we shared, they tell me 'you were a good friend.' That's the warmest part," Mr. Keeshan said.
Bob Keeshan will sign copies of the "Family Fun Activity Book" (Fairview Press, $12.95) tomorrow at the Zany Brainy store in Annapolis, 2522 Solomons Island Road, from noon to 2 p.m. (410) 266-1447. On Sunday, March 5, he will visit the Rockville store, 1631 Rockville Pike, from noon to 2 p.m. (301) 984-0112.