Evanston writer, illustrator Laura Montenegro reads to children at the Mighty Twig. Photo courtesy of the of the Evanston Public Library Friends.

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Through a grant from the Woman’s Club of Evanston, the Evanston Library Friends gave Evanston children the gifts of books, drama and storytelling last month. Local authors Laura Montenegro and Denia Hester and Northwestern University’s Imagine U theatre company engaged children with puppets and stories on three consecutive Saturdays.

‘Grandma Lena’ at North Branch

Author and former School District 65 librarian Denia Hester read from her book “Grandma Lena’s Big Ol’ Turnip” at the North Branch Library, 2026 Central St., on June 23. Children received free copies of her book, which she signed for them. Two tables in the North Branch were turned into planting areas, where each child could plant a turnip seed to take home.

‘Bird Garden’ at the Twig

On June 16 at the Mighty Twig, 900 Chicago Ave., Evanston artist and author Laura Montenegro brought “A Poet’s Bird Garden” to life with puppetry, storytelling and creative participation from the audience. Each child received a copy of the book, her most recent, and Ms. Montenegro signed copies, of the book.

‘Lyle, Lyle’ at the Summer Reading Stop

Lyle the crocodile caught the imaginations of kids on June 30 at the Dempster-Dodge Summer Reading Stop, when students from Northwestern University’s Imagine U theatre, part of NU’s Theatre of Interpretation Center, presented the story. Afterwards, the children were invited to participate in a drama workshop. They each received a free copy of “Lyle, Lyle Crocodile” and tickets to Imagine U’s presentation of “Lyle the Crocodile,” to be performed July 20-29.