HAMMONTON - In the quiet haven of the Hammonton Branch of the Atlantic County Library System, preschool age children learn valuable life lessons through storybooks during Preschool Storytime on April 27.

As spring has sprung, senior library assistant Kathy Saalman thought what better way to ring in the season then by reading books that focus on one of the season’s popular animals — ducks! Last week’s stories were:

• “Duck at the Door” by Jackie Urbanovic. A duck named Max shows those around him how to appreciate those around you no matter their quirks.

• “Little Quack” by Lauren Thompson. Little Quack has to find the courage to join his siblings out on the pond.

However, before storytime children first had to work on their weekly craft, which is included in every Preschool Storytime. The week’s craft was a duck holding an umbrella. “I try to keep the crafts simple,” Saalman said.

The children first colored in their duck and umbrella. Then they cut both images out and taped a plastic straw to act as a handle for the umbrella. The straw was then attached to the duck’s “hand.” The children seemed to have a blast coloring their ducks and choosing what color to use to trim their umbrella.

After the children finished their crafts, Saalman, or Miss Kathy as she is known to the kids, gathered them together to read this week’s stories to them. To get the children to engage with the stories Saalman would ask the children questions. One question was “What do the duckies say?” to which the children responded with enthusiastic “Quacks!”

The children were in for a surprise this week as Saalman had a special game planned, where rubber duckies had been hidden around the children’s section of the library. The children excitedly and carefully looked around the room. Eventually, each child was able to find a rubber ducky, which they were able to keep. As a reward for how well they all behaved, Saalman allowed all of the children to choose a prize out the “treasure box.”

Preschool Storytime at the Hammonton Branch takes place on Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Preschool Storytime is for children ages 3½ to 5 years old and includes stories and crafts.

The library also has storytimes for younger children called Toddler Storytime, which takes place on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. Toddler Storytime is for children 2-4 years old and includes stories, snacks, crafts and games.

Another storytime is called Saturday Storytime, which at 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays and is for children ages 3-5 years old. The Saturday Storytime includes stories, snacks, crafts and games. Registration is requested for all storytimes. More information can be found at or by calling (609) 561-2264.

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