Squeeze in Time for Michigan Reads! Storytelling with Your Little Bed Hogs

Contact: Sarah Lapshan (517) 241-1736

March 6, 2006

The Library of Michigan invites families statewide to round up their little readers for some "Bed Hogs" fun as part of Michigan Reads!, the Library's one-state, one-preschool-book program devoted to boosting early-childhood literacy during "March is Reading Month."

The 2006 program kicks off on Saturday, March 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. with "Hog-o-Rama" at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.  Kelly DiPucchio - author of the 2006 Michigan Reads! book, "Bed Hogs" - will visit the library (40900 Romeo Plank Road in Clinton Township, 586-226-5030) to read from her book (with the help of her friendly pig puppet) and talk to young students about how words become ideas, and how ideas become stories.

Written by local author Kelly DiPucchio (who grew up in Rochester and currently lives in Macomb Township), "Bed Hogs" is the engaging story of Little Runt, who grows weary of sharing a straw bed with his parents and siblings and kicks them out one by one.  Only when he has the bed all to himself does Little Runt realize it's scary and lonesome without his family around him.

"I am absolutely thrilled that ‘Bed Hogs' has been chosen by my home state as the 2006 Michigan Reads! one-state, one-preschool-book winner," said DiPucchio.  "As both an author and a parent, I am honored to be a part of a program that acknowledges the importance of early-childhood literacy in families."

In addition to DiPucchio's presentation, kids will be able to enjoy a variety of hands-on activities like making fun pig masks, enjoying piggy giveaways, and having pictures taken with Prudence the Pig, the 10-foot-tall inflatable mascot of Michigan Education Savings Plan.

At the March 11 event, State Librarian Nancy R. Robertson will join Clinton-Macomb Public Library Director Larry Neal to welcome DiPucchio and thank the 2006 Michigan Reads! sponsors:  Brogan & Partners, Michigan Education Savings Program, Michigan Education Trust, Auto-Owners Insurance and the Library of Michigan Foundation.

"Programs like Michigan Reads! are ambitious and worthwhile because of the great good they can bring to countless communities throughout our state," said Robertson.  "It is thanks in large part to the generous spirit of this year's sponsors that the Library of Michigan was able to provide copies of ‘Bed Hogs' and other materials to public libraries and Head Start centers throughout the state.  With their support, thousands of preschoolers will be able to go to the local library and enjoy the sweet story of Little Runt."

Robertson urged parents - beyond the March 11 kickoff event - to visit their own public libraries to find out what local events and programs are taking place as part of Michigan Reads! and March is Reading Month.  "For families in Michigan, this is an opportune time to make the time for reading to become a regular, cherished part of their lives," she said.

Michigan Reads! began in 2004 as a new approach to the "community reads" efforts gaining popularity throughout the country.  While most community "one book" programs focus on adults or teens, Michigan Reads! is unique in that it focuses on a book geared specifically toward preschool children.

The program has three chief aims:  to promote the value and benefits of reading early and often to preschoolers; to encourage family bonding through reading; and to increase awareness and usage of Michigan's public libraries as excellent resources for learning.

For more information about "Bed Hogs" author Kelly DiPucchio, visit www.kellydipucchio.com.  To learn more about Michigan Reads!, including tips for parents, supplemental reading activities for "Bed Hogs," other early-literacy resources, and a calendar of Michigan Reads! events, visit www.michigan.gov/michiganreads.

The Library of Michigan is part of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries.  Dedicated to strengthening the economy and enriching the quality of life for Michigan residents by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity, the department also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Michigan Film Office and the Michigan Historical Center.