About 15 future knights and princesses in training crowded into the front program room at the Denison Public Library Saturday to learn what it takes to be the hero of their own stories. The fairy tale festival at the library included the reading of a story and then eight training stations where children could learn about poise and dragon slaying.
Children attending the festival ranged in age from 2-13.
“We did this several years ago, and we did it for several years in a row,” Library Programming Supervisor Joyce Ullah said. “We decided to bring it back today because we know just how much young girls want to be princesses and how much young boys what to be knights in shining armor. The children have eight tasks that they have to do to become a princess in training or a knight.”
Activities included making a sword and a shield with foil and paper, making tiaras and princess hats and crowns, building a castle with blocks.
“Princesses have to be graceful so they have to walk with a book on their head,” Ullah said. “They have to be humble, so they have to kiss a stuffed toy frog. They have to be industrious so they built a castle. They have to be intelligent so they have to solve a puzzle.”
Kate Jacqueir brought her three children who were 7, 5, and 2 to the festival.
“They love reading,” she said. “We have read to them since they were very young. Now my oldest daughter is at the point where she can read on her own. They love bedtime stories. They love reading throughout the day also. They will just pull books off the shelf and look at them.”
Jacqueir said her daughters most enjoyed making the princess hats and her son enjoyed the task where he had to fight the dragon to save a toy princess.
“Reading is the way that children gateway into another world,” she said. “We may not have the money to take you everywhere that you would like to go, but books can. You can read about other countries. You can read fantasy stories and fairy tales. You get to experience those things and go there even though you are still little.”
Kim Brewer brought her two daughters and niece to the festival Saturday because she enjoys bringing them to the literacy programs at the library.
They love reading and they love coming to the library here,” she said. “I love all the literacy programs here because reading opens up the whole world to them. You can read anything. You can learn anything. And, if they learn to love reading, they can go far in the world. I think that is why it is important to have these programs.”
At the end of the festival, children got to take home their swords and if they completed all the tasks in the eight station, they received a plastic ring.
“Sometimes families are really busy and they may not have the resources to have the things that we have,” Ullah said. “They can come in and be creative and experiment with stuff. We have done art things before. This is about letting children socialize, be creative, and have a good time. We like to have fun things at the library for the sake of fun sometimes. This is one of them. Fairy tale always brings in a lot of people. It is a universal appeal. They have been around for a long, long time.”