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.”