On August 26th, over a hundred people, evenly split between kids and adults, gathered together to listen to stories, sing songs, and make their own fabulous crowns at Carnegie Library’s Drag Queen Story Hour. The event featured Akasha L Van-Cartier, in full splendor, accompanied by Caitie Morphew, lead librarian supervisor for the Allegheny branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Based on similar events in New York, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco by the group RADAR Productions, Drag Queen Story Hour is intended to celebrate diversity and uniqueness, as well as encourage enthusiasm for reading.
The glorious Akasha read two books. The first was Mary Had a Little Glam, written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. It is the tale of a fabulous little girl, who brings a little ‘glam’ with her to school. She shares her style with her classmates, and by the end, acknowledges that, while it is important to keep your fashion game on point, it’s also pretty fun to play in the dirt. There are 32 copies of this book in the Carnegie Public Library system if you want to check it out.
The next book was Be Who You Are, by popular children’s author Todd Parr, who often addresses diversity and acceptance in his work. Parr uses bright, simple, quirky illustrations to accompany messages like:
Be who you are!
Be proud of where you’re from.
Be a different color. Speak your language.
Wear everything you need to be you.
There are 36 copies of this one in the CLP system, as well as many other books by Todd Parr.
The theme of the afternoon was self-esteem, and being proud of the way you express yourself, sartorially or otherwise. The room was filled with laughter and joy at this unique celebration of reading…and there were bubbles!
Drag Queen Story Hour is fun for children from birth to grade 5, and will be held at the Allegheny Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on the following dates:
September 23rd, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
October 21st, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
November 18th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
December 16th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
January 13th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.