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Raising Readers and Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine Partner on Children’s Book Exhibit

| Community Partners

The book cover of Little Beaver and the Echo, written by Maine author Amy MacDonald. This book was given to Maine 5 year-olds, starting in 2020.

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine and the Raising Readers program at MaineHealth announce the installation of an exhibit– inspired by The Story Walk Project®– at the Museum & Theatre’s location on Thompson’s Point. This is the newest chapter in a long-term literacy advocacy partnership between the two organizations. The exhibit features the illustrated children’s book Little Beaver and the Echo written by Maine author Amy MacDonald  and illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies. The illustrated pages are mounted along the indoor route that families take to enter the Maine Watershed Aquarium; there visitors can also see a beaver specimen from the Museum & Theatre’s collection on display and learn about its habitat and lifeways.

A beaver specimen from the Museum & Theatre’s collection on display in the Maine Watershed Aquarium exhibit.

Intended for ages two to seven years old, Little Beaver and the Echo was published by Penguin USA and has been named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the New York Times. This story features Little Beaver who has neither family nor friends. One day, when he starts to cry by the side of the pond, he hears someone else crying from loneliness on the other side of the pond. The story follows Little Beaver on his journey to search for who else is crying and follows his discovery of friendship.

Deputy Director Lucia Stancioff said, “Raising Readers’ work is essential to our community; children who have received Raising Readers books at well-child visits recognize when that same story is highlighted at the Museum & Theatre, whether it’s on stage as with The Circus Ship or through a story walk like Little Beaver and the Echo. Early literacy is a holistic experience, and the Museum & Theatre and Raising Readers 15 year partnership exemplifies this. Through reading with loved ones, participating in dramatic storytelling, and then bringing those themes into their play, children learn to be not just readers but critical thinkers who can analyze an increasingly complex world.”

Raising Readers Program Coordinator Roxanne M. Rowe said, “We are so excited to once again partner with the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, this time at their brand new home at Thompson’s Point.  In 2020, Raising Readers celebrated its 20th anniversary by distributing a classic, Little Beaver and the Echo to all Maine five year olds at their well-child doctor’s visit.  One can only imagine a child’s excitement when they discover that this familiar children’s book has come to life within the newly built halls of the Museum & Theatre.  What a wonderful opportunity to connect the floors of a museum devoted to inspiring a love of learning and exploration, with an interactive story walk that leads to a Maine Watershed Aquarium!”

About Raising Readers

Raising Readers is a statewide program funded by the Libra Foundation, led and administered by MaineHealth in collaboration with Northern Light Health, with support from the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. For over 20 years, Raising Readers has been promoting a love of books and reading by distributing books at hospitals and Maine doctors’ offices. As soon as a baby is born, all families receive a tote of books to start their home libraries. At each well-child visit from 2 months to 5 years, doctors and medical staff give high-quality books to every child. By the time a Maine child starts school, they will have grown up with a library of brand new books to call their very own. By integrating books and early literacy guidance into the healthcare settings and visits, Raising Readers reinforces the well-documented links between brain development, literacy and overall health while encouraging families to read to children. For more information, see www.raisingreaders.org.

About Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine inspires discovery and imagination through playful exploration, with a focus on science learning, community engagement, performing and visual arts, and early childhood education. The Museum & Theatre serves as an indispensable resource for families and educators, helping to create a broad community devoted to our children’s development and learning. It is committed to providing access for children of all economic means and all abilities through a variety of access initiatives. With almost one hundred years of children’s theatre history, and nearly fifty years as a children’s museum, the award-winning organization is considered one of the top children’s museums in the country. See www.kitetails.org for more information.

Thanks to our friends at the Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine for sharing this post about the Little Beaver and the Echo story walk exhibit from their blog!