A wild trip around the world



by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs


5/23/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Al  -- Passports in hand, youth can travel the world through the realm of literature and their imagination as the Maxwell Community Library brings them aboard their summer reading program, complete with exotic animals, fun activities and prizes, 5:30 p.m. June 6.

In the grassy lot beside the library, children, teens, adults and families can explore dozens of foreign lands through games and foods including Tahiti's bouncy jungle, Mexican piƱatas, German corn-hole game, China town marketplace, French arts and crafts, Ireland's tug-of-war and international cuisine, just to name a few.

Each event, game, prize and activity throughout the summer will tie into the theme "Have Book Will Travel," according to Maxwell Community Library director Marsha Taylor.

"This year is all about travel, so many of the activities that we're having will be representing countries, transportation and a world of adventure," said Taylor. "Many of the events and the games that we will be playing will all have information about what country they originated from."

The highlight of the kick-off event will be Animal Tales' naturalist Keith Wood at 6 p.m., who will bring live reptiles, mammals and fowls from different continents for audience members to touch and hold. It will also be a chance to learn more about each creature.
Wood will be bringing Magwe, an 11-foot-long python, weighing 65 pounds along with an armadillo, bats and several other surprises.

Though the reading program is centered on travel and exploration, participants do not necessarily have to choose books related to those topics. Rather, they are encouraged to enjoy any book of their choice at either Maxwell or Gunter's community library, explained Taylor.

"They can read any book that they want from our library collection and it can be on any subject," she said. "It can be non-fiction or fiction. We want to encourage reading."

Youth and adults of all ages can complete their registration for the Department of Defense Summer Reading Program by visiting the Maxwell or Gunter community library.  The library staff will provide participants with a reading log.

After every five books read, they may return to the library for the staff to mark their completion and help them choose from a variety of prizes including globe beach balls, caps, T-shirts, stuffed animals, activity books, travel blankets and more.

Those having read the most books in their age category by the end of the summer will receive a grand prize at the finale program 5:30 p.m. Aug. 8 inside the Maxwell Event Center. All other participants will receive prizes as well.

A new addition to the reading program this year will be a drawing for gift cards ranging from $50-$500, as well as Google tablets and CDs of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth."