Happily residing in the children’s department of my library are several familiar characters and animals that welcome children each day. Barney is still a particular favorite as is evident in the number of times he is removed from his place on the shelf to keep a child company during his/her visit. One young lady asked if she could read a book to Barney. When I gave my enthusiastic consent, she then found our friend Elephant to join him in the audience at her table. A few minutes later, she was back with a concern. “I have an empty chair at the table,” she said woefully. “No problem!” I proclaimed as we went in search of another willing listener. After several suggestions, she decided on the big fluffy dog. Satisfied that she was now playing to a full house, she proceeded to read her stories. For the serious performer, nothing beats a captive and attentive audience!
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