With inspiration from the “Buffalo Gals” folk song, children’s book author Joanne Ryder wrote the words to the picture book “Dance by the Light of the Moon.” In the story, she has animals gathering for a barnyard dance organized by Farmer Snow. I recently re-read the book to a favorite little person. Charlotte said, “Sing it, Gramma!” And I did, because somehow it’s best that way.

Researchers who investigate how children learn say that music is one way to inspire learning and creativity. And so librarians are saying, “Sing together!” Baby and preschool storytimes around the County feature not just reading, but singing, as well.

Children’s picture books, or sometimes phrases from them, just beg to be sung. In “Dooby, Dooby, Moo” by Doreen Cronin, the author has the animals practicing for a talent show; Duck takes home first prize with his rendition of “Born to be Wild.” It’s so much fun to sing in duck-speak!

Many of Sandra Boynton’s board books, like “Snuggle Puppy” and “Belly Button Book,” are written in rhyme. But check out Boynton’s “Philadelphia Chickens” book with its accompanying CD to hear them sung. You’ll never read “Snuggle Puppy” again!

The text in many picture books is actually song lyrics – “Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Playing Right Field,” “The Wheels on the Bus,” and more. If you know the song, sing the story. Better yet, sing it together!

As a part of Washington County Library’s 2013 Summer Reading program children and their families will be treated to musical performances. They include:

Choo Choo Bob Songs and Stories – 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8 at R.H. Stafford Library
Choo Choo Bob Songs and Stories – 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8 at Hardwood Creek Library
The Bazillions – 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 12 at R.H. Stafford Library
The Okee Dokee Brothers – 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 18 at R.H. Stafford Library
The Okee Dokee Brothers – 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18 at Wildwood Library
The Okee Dokee Brothers – 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20 at Oakdale Library
The Teddy Bear Band, appearing at BIG TRUCK DAY, 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 22 at Hardwood Creek Library
Folk Singer Paul Spring – 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 at Hardwood Creek Library
Choo Choo Bob Songs and Stories – 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29 at Park Grove Library
Music with Ross Sutter – 2 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at Oakdale Library

Finally, kids aren’t the only ones who will be inspired by musical performances this summer. “Listen at the Library” musical programs are being offered once again at the Oakdale Library — on Wednesday, June 12 hear “Sheltered Reality,” on Wednesday, July 10 hear “The Half Steps,” and on Wednesday, August 7 hear “33 Degrees North.” These are evening (6:30 p.m. start times) outdoor programs for the whole family, perfect for lawn chairs and friendly conversation. Folks may not be dancing, but they are sure to be clapping or stomping or clicking to the beat of the music.

Put the dates on your calendar now, and join the crowd. No tickets or registration required for any of the programs. Enjoy!

Library Woman is Joey Halbach, Community Relations Librarian for Washington County Library. Contact her at: