Mother Goose returns for Story Time at A Book Barn

Mcqueen reads “A Pumpkin for Max” by local author Betty L. Winter while Beckett, 3, sits front and center (Photo by Samantha Golden, Clovis Roundup)

Inside the door of your favorite book shop, under a wall of painted fluffy clouds, friendly kitty cats, bear cubs, dinosaurs and robots peek out from colorful tubs, waiting for little hands to explore their pages, and a familiar face will be visiting twice a week to share their stories with you.

Mother Goose’s Storytime at A Book Barn in Old Town Clovis has been a staple for local children for a long time. After a break of two years, “Mother” Goose Deric McQueen has taken up the bonnet and picture book to provide Clovis children with exciting literary engagement. Beginning November 1st, A Book Barn will be hosting story time for children of all ages on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10AM.

You may recognize McQueen from previous story times; he was Mother Goose’s right-hand assistant. “The kids love him, they know him,” says owner Peggy Dunklee, “The person who knows everything about Mother Goose is Deric.”

McQueen is no stranger to organizing a good story time, either. “When I would substitute for Mother Goose on previous occasions I would throw together a couple of stories,” says McQueen, “It’s always better to over-plan.” He shared that each month’s story times will revolve around a theme, like animals or holidays.  “One day I might do raccoons, or I might do bears, or fish, or something like this,” rhymed McQueen, letting his Mother Goose nature show.

The events will include such additional delights as show-and-tell time and nursery rhymes, utilizing McQueen’s experience in choir. Every other Saturday, A Book Barn plans to bring in local children’s books authors to share their stories with the community. Recently, the shop hosted a book signing for Karen J. Moore, author of Gracie and the Radar Girls and Pin the Tail, Oogie.

According to Dunklee, after taking a break for social distancing parents seem ready to get their kids involved in in-person events like Story Time again. “We have lots of parents that want to do it, so we really want it to be available to kids,” Dunklee says, “I know a lot of people are still doing Zoom, but people really want to bring their kids to events.” A Book Barn is happy to provide entertainment for kids of all ages, and their parents.

McQueen follows in the footsteps of long-time Mother Goose Lynda Tatman, but there’s one big difference– he’s trading in the big hat and layered skirts for festive shirts. McQueen says, “I have a lot of very very colorful shirts.”