For Starkville Daily News
The Maben Public Library kicked off the new story hour with a tea party, complete with tea (sprite) and tea cakes (compliments of Vivian Brown).
After a hiatus of three months, the little children arrived with family in tow; all giggles and smiles, they admired pretty bows and brightly colored outfits as they gathered around the tables before getting down the story.
As a special treat Librarian Mary Boutwell had borrowed a tiny tea table and chairs for the tea party.
First Boutwell lead them in singing the Little Tea Pot song. We think they just enjoyed watching Boutwell and Dottie Dewberry being short and stout with handles and spouts all acted out. Before the story all the little boys put on their ties and the little girls put on their colored beads, then Boutwell proceeded to read “Miss Spider’s Tea Party.”
In the beginning of the story Miss Spider wanted to have tea with two beetles but they were too afraid. Next three fireflies came by, but they too squeaked in fear and flew away. Four bumblebees buzzed by, but they throught she was too spidery for them.
Later she spied some grinning bugs, but unfortunately, they turned out to be rubber bugs. Some ants ambled along, but they turned up their nose at Miss Spider and her tea and cakes. In the fine bouquet were seven dainty butterflies but Miss Spider did not see them-her table was set for eight any way.
The tea table was set with cups and saucers and silver plate for cake but no one to partake. Nine moths were sheltering from the thunder storm saw the tea table, but when they saw Miss Spider they all flew away. As she sat so sad and sobbing because no one wanted to sip tea with her, a fragile wet moth appeared.
Miss Spider helped dry him off and then they talked and snacked on tea and pie. Finally he was dry, Miss Spider lifted him and with a little toss off he flew. He told all of the other bugs that they had nothing to fear.
Later on in the afternoon, Miss Spider had 11 insects for tea. Miss Spider ate flower petals as the other drank tea. Finally all of the insects knew they had nothing to fear from Miss Spider.
Then the fun began. All the little boys and girls gathered around the tea tables (on loan from Ann Walls) for tea and tea cakes. Dewberry demonstrated the proper way to hold the cup-pinkie finger out-as they all sipped, not slurped, their fake tea and ate their real cookies.
Finally, Boutwell had color sheets of tea pots and cups for each child to color, even a few parents got into the act. They especially loved the cookies.
Last but not least they all checked out books for family to read. It was another day at the library where children learn to sit and listen, to color, to participate in group activities, and especially to enjoy special treats provided by the librarian.
The Maben Public Library Story Hour starts at 10 a.m. on Friday morning, and it is open to children ages three to six years.