Grand Kickoff to Library Summer Reading Program Brings Sesame Street to Brooklyn

For a day, Sesame Street intersected Grand Army Plaza — and scores of the borough’s tykes were right at the heart of the excitement.

Brooklyn Public Library, which has celebrated the iconic show’s 40th anniversary over the past several months, kicked off its summer reading program in front of the main library with Maria (Sonia Manzano), one of the show’s most beloved human characters, reading to an enthralled crowd of toddlers perched on parents’ shoulders, nestled on laps or secured in strollers.

Eyes wide, the youngest listeners clapped and echoed Manzano’s words, as she told them the story of Ruthie, the protagonist of A Boxful of Kittens, which Manzano penned in 2007.

When storytime was over, there was plenty of other excitement — music and dancing, face-painting, and lots of budding Picassos sprawled on the plaza, creating masterpieces with chalk, as well as a visit from Nets’ mascot, Sly Fox.

And, of course, there was the opportunity for children to sign up to participate in the summer reading program, which features free events at local libraries, as well as rewards for readers.

Log onto www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/summerreading/ for further information.

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