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How Books and Exercise Become a StoryWalk

October 8, 2012


By Duncan McDougall

Wandering Vermont trails during peak fall foliage with eager children and frisky dogs while reading about awesome children’s books. What’s not to love?

That’s how CLiF spent a very pleasant Saturday morning with friends and fans of the StoryWalk® Project.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Their brilliant concept links literacy and fitness.  Simply disassemble a children’s book page by page, laminate the pages, and then post them along a trail so readers young and old can enjoy the outdoors and read great books at the same time.

The StoryWalk Festival was held this Saturday October 6 at Hubbard Park in Montpelier, and CLiF was delighted to be involved. I attended with my trusty assistant Tasha (our Bernese Mountain Dog), and we had a great time meeting many fellow readers and hikers, and sniffing around.

When we weren’t chatting with folks at the CLiF table, Tasha and I wandered the leaf-strewn trails and enjoyed a few books along the way. Our paws-down favorite was Weezer Changes the World by New Hampshire author and illustrator David McPhail. It’s an inspiring and funny tale of a puppy that has a shocking experience (i.e., gets struck by lightning) and develops some amazing abilities that allow him to have a huge, positive impact on the world.

Imagine our delight when the real David McPhail arrived at the StoryWalk Festival along with Vermont author (and CLiF presenter) Leda Schubert. Both were there to chat with participants and sign books.

David and Leda are also dog lovers and we scored a scratch or two from a real author!  We purchased signed copies of Weezer Changes the World, and Leda’s latest book Monsieur Marceau about the talented mime Marcel Marceau who, among other things, was a member of the French underground in World War II and saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children. You learn so much reading books.

Many thanks to Anne Ferguson and the StoryWalk Project for including CLiF in Saturday’s colorful and enjoyable event!

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