The next PJ Storytime is 6 p.m. July 12 in the Children's Room of the Combined Arms Research Library.

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

The Summer Reading Program activities continued with the first pajama storytime June 28 in the children’s room of the Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library.

“I was looking for something interesting and new and … we thought a pajama storytime would be a fun way to format evening storytimes,” said Dan Barbuto, CARL library technician specializing in children’s literature. “We take a break from regularly scheduled storytime during the summer, but we wanted to introduce new folks to our storytime format as well as provide something for folks who may not have anything to do, having recently arrived on post.”

More than 30 children were sporting many different types of themed pajamas, including “Minnie Mouse,” “My Little Pony,” “Cars,” “Paw Patrol,” “Pokemon” and “Disney princesses.” Barbuto dressed up, too, in a “narwahl” onesie.

During the 30-minute session, Barbuto led the children in the “CARL Storytime Song” and the “Goodnight Sleepy Song” and read “Seriously, Just Go to Sleep” by Adam Mansbach and “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd.

Six-year-old Aiden Loredo said he liked “Goodnight Moon” the best.

“I don’t like mad books,” he said because the mom and dad were mad in the first book.

Aiden said it was fun to wear his Spider-Man pajamas to the library.

“He’s my favorite superhero,” he said.

Christina Loredo, Aiden’s mom, said Aiden and 3-year-old Grace were excited to wear their pajamas to the library.

“It’s a novelty to them. They come to the library a lot but they don’t get to do a theme so they’re excited for that,” she said.

“It makes it special, like a party. It made it more of an event.”

Abigail Hastings, mother of 6-year-old Madeline and 4-year-old Isabel, said the event offered a way around the heat.

“It gives us something else to do during the day,” Hastings said. “It’s been really hot outside so it’s nice to get out of the house.”

The special storytime offered an extra incentive for participants, Barbuto said.

“Kids can count these minutes being read to them for their summer reading logs, which is handy in order to reach the required minutes for the week,” Barbuto said. “Plus, storytime brings people into the children’s room where they are more likely to check something out, as well as promoting literacy and parent-child reading in general.”

The event also had a raffle where children had chances to win prizes with the summer reading program logo featuring the theme “Reading Takes You Everywhere.” Prizes included a plush toy of the program mascot Gaston, a lunch box, a beach towel and an insulated lunch bag.

Loredo said she felt storytime fosters a life-long love of reading.

“When I was a kid, my mom always tried to encourage reading and I still, as an adult, love reading,” she said. “I have really good vocabulary and understanding of different things and concepts just because I started at a young age. So, these events, especially when you make it fun and exciting, it introduces reading and doesn’t make it seem like a chore like it kind of feels like when you get to school.”

Barbuto said he hoped the event reached both the children and the parents.

“We are hoping parents and kids will both enjoy themselves and find that library programs like storytime provide both entertainment for children and their families,” he said. “We want new arrivals and permanent party families both to know we run programming all year long and that the library is a resource for everyone on post and the greater military community at large.”

CARL will have a second pajama storytime at 6 p.m. tonight in the children’s room. Weekly storytime is every Wednesday morning September through May at 9:30 a.m. For more information, follow CARL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Combinedarmsresearchlibrary.