The Gingerbread Dude visits with young fans of reading at the Allentown Library
In his sole appearance this year at the Allentown Public Library, the Gingerbread Dude delighted fans with a surprise visit during storytime Dec. 11.
The Dude, who is the alterego of Ricky Houck, a children's librarian at the library, arrived just after Ellen Hiotis, of the Allentown Public library, finished reading Kristin Kladstrup's book "The Gingerbread Pirates" and stayed through a rousing rendition of the Christmas carol Jingle Bells with actual bell accompaniment provided by young fans of reading, their parents and friends. The Dude inspired squeals of joy from some, tears of fear from others and holiday cheer for many.
The Dec. 11 storytime program was gingerbread-themed and included "Maisy Makes Gingerbread" by Lucy Cousins, read by Hiotis, and a craft. Visitors decorated their own paper gingerbread boy or girl with buttons, trim and other odds and ends to take home.
"We come to storytime every week," said Alexis Cooper, who runs Missie's Place Family Childcare, Washington Street, Allentown. "We teach them to have a joy of reading," Cooper said of her students.
Holiday storytimes and other events for toddlers and preschoolers continue at the library through Dec. 18 when one of Santa's elves will make a guest appearance.