In Anne Arundel, program promises thrills and chills Kickoff: Music, storytellers and even a little competition are part of this year's activities.

July 05, 1998|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

Tre Dennis wanted to make himself really small.

So, the 5-year-old drank a magic potion from an imaginary cup and followed the rabbit down the hole and into Wonderland.

If this sounds familiar, it should -- Tre and several of his friends were among the dozens of youngsters who mingled with "Alice in Wonderland" characters at the Annapolis library recently to launch Anne Arundel County's annual summer reading program.

The program -- "Thrills and Chills at the Library" -- runs until July 31. Librarians have added a new twist this year -- a prize.

The county school with the highest percentage of students registered will win the Chesapeake Cup. The winning school will be announced in September and will be allowed to keep the cup -- until next year's winner is announced.

Tre, who will be entering kindergarten at Germantown Elementary in Annapolis, says he already has a head start on school.

"I love books and all the words and pictures," he said as he clowned around with his best friend, Christopher Richardson, also 5 and about to start school at Germantown.

"It's fun and exciting," Christopher said. "I like everything in books."

Besides some healthy competition for the Chesapeake Cup, the Anne Arundel County library system is offering a slew of fun activities at each branch to lure children.

Representatives of the Maryland Science Center will be on hand several times to give a physics presentation designed for children. There also will be storytellers and music, and the Horsehead Wetlands Center will introduce children to wildlife native to Maryland.

At the "Alice in Wonderland" kickoff festivities at the Annapolis branch on West Street, librarians dressed as characters from the Lewis Carroll classic.

Librarian Alexis Langsher, dressed as the white rabbit in a blue vest and with white floppy ears, led the children through a make-believe "hole" into a maze of bookshelves crammed with children's titles.

Inside the hole, the children found the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat, who tried to help them find the way out. They could also play croquet with the Queen of Hearts and use construction paper, ribbons, feathers and other scraps to make their own Mad Hatter's hat.

Lauren Glazer, 6, who will be a first-grader at Indian Hills Elementary in Crownsville, has already read several of the books on her summer reading list. Lauren has mastered some good reads so far: "Mother's Day Mice," "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," and "Watch Out for Chicken Feet in Your Soup."

She and her mother, Donna Glazer, were looking for more at the Annapolis library.

" 'Aladdin' is really my favorite book," Lauren said. "I can read it, that's why."

Pub Date: 7/05/98

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