library author 

Kids' author kicks off reading club The Whistler Public Library's Wild About Books club will be kicking off on Aug. 5 with a visit from the popular children's writer Diane Swanson. At 7 p.m. the award winning author of Safari Beneath the Sea, Animals eat the Weirdest Things and Sky Dancers will pay the club a special visit. Future sessions will include crafts, films and contests. "The library is most fortunate to have a writer of Diane Swanson's expertise and talent visit our library," says Library Director Joan Richoz. "She has written over 25 books for children, most of which have been nominated or chosen for numerous literary awards." As with other successful children's authors, Swanson remembers the imagination of the young. This is reflected in her written recollections of when she was growing up. "When I was a kid, my small black dog, Sammy, was my ever present pal. On warm summer mornings we'd walk to the lake and scour the shore for unusual rocks. At home Sammy would lie lazily by the piano and I'd play, pretending I had to discover the song that would open the door to some 'secret passage'. "About the only thing we didn't enjoy together was a prairie thunderstorm. Sammy would hide, but I loved to watch the lightning crack the sky. It was especially great if we were outside when a huge thunderstorm broke. Then we would take cover in the garage and send messages along the clothesline to the house. 'We're stranded! Send cookies!'" The summer reading clubs are designed to be fun as well as educational as they encourage kids to enjoy reading and set their own standards. "Studies have shown that good reading habits benefit children in the classroom," says Richoz. "Summer Reading Clubs maintain reading levels during the summer holiday break." The summer reading club for 5 to 9 year olds will take place Aug. 5, 12, 19 and 26, between 4 and 5 p.m. or 7 to 8 p.m. Because of high registration last year the club has split to two different times. There will also be a pre-school Summer Reading Club for children aged 3 to 4 which runs on Wednesday mornings in August, from 11 a.m. until noon. Children can be pre-registered by calling or going in to the library. Richoz says pre-registration is very important, as is specifying which session your child will be attending.

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