Take a StoryWalk with children's books along the Remington Trail in Canton

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Jul. 4—CANTON — Take a walk on the Remington Trail this month and you'll find a story.

This week, three rabbits sneak into Mr. McGreely's garden and munch on his vegetables. Next week, Brian will imagine a bedroom transformation so a salamander might feel at home.

The stories — in the form of illustrated children's books featured page by page on wooden stakes — are part of the Canton Free Library's summer programming.

"I love the concept," Valerie White said. "This combines books and getting outside, two of my favorite things."

As the library's youth services specialist, Ms. White curated the monthlong StoryWalk along a portion of the 3.2-mile Remington Trail, also called the Partridge Loop around Partridge Run Golf Course.

The original StoryWalk was created in 2007 in Montpelier, Vt., by Anne Ferguson with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Three years later, StoryWalk was registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the project has since been implemented in all 50 states and at least a dozen countries. The idea is to periodically post laminated pages from children's books on an outdoor path.

In Canton, Ms. White said, the library has set up StoryWalks in spring and summer for about 10 years, sometimes at the Remington Trail, Taylor Park, Bend in the River Park, the village green and Canton Central School. One year, she recalled, a trough was worn into the grass at Canton Central from the recess foot traffic along the StoryWalk.

When selecting books, Ms. White said she looks for colorful art accompanying engaging narratives. This year's lineup reflects the statewide Summer Reading at New York Libraries program and its 2021 theme: Tails and Tales.

The four books running through the end of July are animal-oriented. First up is "Muncha Muncha Muncha," written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. It peeks into Mr. McGreely's ongoing battle with a trio of rabbits eating his garden produce. The story will be up until Thursday.

From Friday through July 15, the walk will spotlight "The Salamander Room," written by Anne Mazer with illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.

"One Dog Canoe," written by Mary Casanova and illustrated by Ard Hoyt, is slated for July 16 to 22. "Little Rabbit Foo Foo," written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Arthur Robins, completes the series from July 23 to 31.

Vehicle entrances to the paved trail are off Riverside Drive and Sullivan Drive, where trailheads are marked. The StoryWalk begins at the Sullivan Drive entrance beyond the United Helpers complex at the Partridge Run Golf and Country Club. The stories stretch about two-tenths of a mile into the loop and pass the Imagine Nation Park playground and sandbox adjacent to the path.

The concept is naturally physically distant and has been especially meaningful during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. White said. Now in her 20th year with the library, Ms. White said one of her dreams is to install permanent StoryWalk stakes at an area park and swap pages all year.

Contact Ms. White about the StoryWalk, craft kit pickup and weekly virtual story readings by calling 315-386-3712 ext. 3, or emailing vwhite@ncls.org.

More information about the library's programming for kids, teens and adults — mostly virtual or self-guided as of this month — is posted to cantonfreelibrary.org.

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