Photo by Joseph Robertia
Eric Kempf's skeleton costume didn't interfere with his ability to solve the Monster Mash crossword puzzle at The Monster Factory at Kenai Community Library on Sunday, but his mother, Laurie Kempf, was there just in case.
Lions and tigers and bogeymen, oh my!
Not exactly how the childhood rhyme goes, but it much more appropriately describes the scene at The Monster Factory that took place at Kenai Community Library on Sunday afternoon.
The library hosted the fun-filled family event for the second year in a row to offer educational alternatives to area youths.
"Last year was the first year we did it and it was overwhelmingly received, so we thought we would do it again this year," said Corey Hall, youth services librarian, who was herself dress up as a mad scientist.
"It's something the whole family can participate in, it gives them something to talk with each other about later, and it gives them memories that will last for life," she said.
"It also promotes coming to the library and reading," Hall added.
This year's event featured a monster-themed family story time, in which Hall used a Powerpoint presentation filled with pictures and words everyone could follow along with to present the book "Frank Was A Monster Who Wanted To Dance."
In it, Frank, the book's main character, dances so hard his brains and one eye fall out and his head ultimately falls off.
"I liked it," said Lane Beauchamp of Kenai, who brought her daughter. "I wasn't familiar with the series, but I thought it was funny. It fit the holiday theme."
In addition to the story, there also were numerous crafts and puzzles available for children, including a monster mash crossword puzzle featuring holiday-themed multisyllable words for young readers, such as hobgoblin, phantasm and poltergeist.
"I like that the kids can come and do educational things," said Tami Mead of Soldotna, in attendance with two of her grandchildren.
"I wanted to do something fun other than just taking him out for candy," Jacki Michels of Soldotna said in regard to her 6-year-old son, Patrick.
"I also wanted to teach him that the library is about more than just books. There's crafts, learning, reading that can be fun," Michels added.
The Monster Factory wound down with the cutting of a large cake that featured a child-sized Frankenstein whose body parts were falling off, much like Frank the dancing monster in the story.
"The cake is good, especially the icing," young Jamie Yerkes of Nikiski said as she used her spoon to scrape off great globs of the green confection.
Nearly all the children took home prizes from the event, including a jar of candy made to look like eyeballs, small spring-loaded monster toys and a stuffed pumpkin bigger than the little boy who won it.
Many parents thanked Hall for her efforts in putting on the event, and one little boy even when out of his way to complement her on her performance.
"You were a really good scientist," said Raleigh Van Natta of Kenai.
High praise coming from a pirate of the high seas, which is what the boy was portraying for the day.
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