Summertime strollers on the Mad River Path behind Small Dog Electronics in Waitsfield on their way to the picnic gazebo will once again be able to read three children’s books. The brainchild of Anne Ferguson, a central Vermonter who loves reading and hiking, StoryWalk is a way to encourage both activities. The idea has been endorsed by many communities in Vermont and many other states. The library staff at Waitsfield Elementary School, Ellen Drysdale and Emily Church, have installed the StoryWalks from the Kellogg-Hubbard Library for the last three years.

Pages of the books are laminated and will be posted at intervals along the path. At the gazebo, walkers will find a notebook to write comments in response to the books.

The first StoryWalk book will be posted from June 12 to 26. Guyku, a Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka and Peter H. Reynolds chronicles the activities the boys—and girls too—enjoy throughout the year, such as climbing trees, skipping stones, catching grasshoppers and having icicle fights.

The second StoryWalk book will go up on June 27 and continue until July 11. Me . . .Jane by Patrick McDonnell tells the true story of the young Jane Goodall, who had a beloved toy chimpanzee and loved to observe nature. She grew up to study wild chimpanzees and became a renowned conservationist and environmentalist. A Caldecott Honor book for 2011, this book is 1 of 10 on Vermont’s Red Clover list for 2012.

The third StoryWalk book will be posted from July 12 to 26. Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez is a sweet, wordless story about a fox that steals a chicken and runs off with it, cradling it lovingly. Amazon’s description reads: “A love story, a road movie and a playful speculation on stereotypes and misconceptions, Chicken Thief makes for an unforgettable reading experience!”


Enjoy the walk. . .and the books!