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Books in Motion makes kids books come alive

The Books in Motion program came to the Shafter Library and Learning Center last Friday to perform Splat the Cat with a Bang and a Clang. BIM is a collaboration of the Kern Dance Alliance, a nonprofit dance advocacy organization supporting and promoting dance and the arts in Kern County, and Kern Literacy Council, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives through literacy.

By summer's end, eight Kern County dance groups will have given more than two dozen Books in Motion performances at libraries across Kern County. They're bringing classics like Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker and modern picture books like Sock Monkey Boogie Woogie, Cha-Cha Chimps, Groovicorns and The Rainbow Fish to life with a combination of acting and dance.

The McLaughlin Dance Collaborative performed Splat the Cat with a Bang and a Clang, in which Splat wants to join his friends' band but can't play any instruments or sing. It's a sweet, funny story about discovering what you can do well, even if it's something unusual or unexpected, and being included by your friends.

The dancers then invited the children in the audience to learn the dance. Shafter's kids proved to be quick learners, and in five minutes, they were ready to dance along with the song, clapping, jumping, and pretending to play guitar and sing.

Next up was a crafts activity based on the book's main character. Finally, each child was given a copy of Splat the Cat with a Bang and a Clang (and a bonus book, Sock Monkey Boogie Woogie), courtesy of the Kern Literacy Council and its sponsors.

If you are interested in learning more about what's happening at the Shafter Library and Learning Center, you can sign up for the Friends of the Library monthly newsletter by emailing Friends president Katie Wiebe at [email protected].


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