Kids love jumping in puddles. Recent heavy rain produced plenty of opportunities for them to test how far mud could spray. Now the Avon Lake Public Library and Lorain County Metro Parks have jumped in, too.
They've teamed to offer “The Biggest Puddle in the World” along their Story Book Trail at the south end of the library's parking lot, 32649 Electric Blvd., where Kopf Family Reservation begins.
The featured book tells the story of two kids who become housebound at their grandparents' home when heavy rain falls. After it subsides, they head out to find the world's biggest puddle.
Timing for the new selection couldn't have been better, according to Shea Alltmont, library marketing manager. She said kids and adults were excited to see her placing pages into the reading stations. “They said they couldn't wait to read it.”
Among the visitors who traveled from station to station were Caroline Marks and her daughters, Charlotte and Claire. They told Alltmont they are regular visitors to the trail.
That pleases Alltmont because the library and parks created the collaboration to encourage reading and outdoor activities, including walking. She said she has seen adults reading to children, children reading to adults and each other, and more than a few adults reading to each other. The library has offered classes to teach adults how to use a book's illustrations to describe the story's plot to children too young to be readers.
Alltmont has observed heavier-than-usual foot traffic recently with stay-at-home orders in place and people wanting to be outside to walk and exercise.
The Story Trail opened in 2014 and it's a popular destination for children and adults, she said. Wending along a three-quarter-mile asphalt path in the woods, it features 16 stations, each containing two pages from the selected book.
Alltmont said they present 10 to 12 books a year, depending on weather. One of the featured books last year, as Avon Lake celebrated its bicentennial, was developed by two girls as part of a Scouting project. They researched famous events and places in the city's history. Another of last year's featured books was “Players in Pigtails.” It was about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s. Alltmont said they were pleasantly surprised to learn that at least one local girl played in the league.
Story Book Trail is available to anyone, whether a library cardholder or not. It is open during daylight hours every day weather permits.
Contact freelance writer Michele Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.