Reading with your best ‘Tux’

Published 9:14 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Tiny readers in Suffolk will get “Supercharged” on Saturday with an oversized penguin in the North Suffolk Library.

Suffolk Public Library’s January “Supercharged Saturday” will be “Penguin Appreciation Storytime,” set for Saturday morning from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road.

Children will have fun reading with “Tux,” a larger-than-life penguin and the Suffolk Public Library’s Winter Reading Challenge Mascot.

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“Tux is excited about our penguin storytime and to be read to,” Suffolk Public Library Youth and Family Services Coordinator Mary Dubose wrote in an email. “Tux loves reading, the library, and anything related to penguins and cold weather. (He) can’t wait to be a part of the fun.”

Families may bring their little ones at any time during the 90-minute time block. The readings by this flightless bird will also allow the children to participate in Beanstack’s third annual Winter Reading Challenge, with books that will include “Penguin and Pinecone” by Salina Yoon, and “Penguinaut” by Marcie Colleen.

“The kids will be able to read to Tux and help us reach our goal of reading 9,000 books for our Winter Reading Challenge,” Dubose wrote. “It’ll be a good chance for kids to work on their reading skills as well as have a fun time learning about penguins.”

The library is participating in the reading challenge through Jan. 31, during which readers can track and log books that they read using the Beanstack platform.

The goal for the library’s “Suffolk Reads” challenge was raised this year to a goal of reading and logging 9,000 books this January. According to Beanstack, the count is 7,915 books read and logged as of Wednesday afternoon.

Only books logged from Jan. 1-31 will count towards the completion goal. Paper logs are also available at each Suffolk Public Library branch for those that do not want to log electronically.

Suffolk Public Library was one of the top-participating libraries in the competition in each of the past two years. This year, Penguin Random House is donating $50,000 worth of prizes to be split among winning libraries and schools, which will include new books and an author visit.

Participants may log any books, audiobooks and magazines they have finished during the month of January. They are also encouraged to share what they’re reading on social media with the hashtags “#WinterRead2020” and “#SuffolkPublicLibrary,” and by tagging Zoobean and Penguin Random House in their social media posts.

Participants who read and log books will be entered to win a raffle prize. There will be three total winners, consisting of one from each age group: ages 0 to 7, 8 to 17, and 18 and older.

Readers will receive one entry per book logged, and the winners will select their prize from a list of items and experiences. This includes gift cards for Regal Cinemas, Virginia Symphony Orchestra or VISA; family zoo, Nauticus, or Children’s Museum memberships; Osmo and a Kindle Fire; or a “staycation package.”

Those who complete the “Diverse Books Challenge” in Beanstack — reading books outside of a reader’s usual genre — will be entered to win a shopping spree at the Friends of the Suffolk Public Library bookstore, as well.

Participants are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to any Suffolk Public Library branch this January, which will help stock Suffolk Christian Fellowship’s food pantry.

Teachers can create group accounts for their class in Beanstack, or keep track of their reading on a print log and return it to the library by Feb. 3. The Suffolk class with the greatest number of books read and logged will receive a pizza party, a set of Magnatiles and a special appearance by Tux.