Storyteller encourages love of science, reading

Jun. 14, 2014 @ 12:17 PM

Before the start of her show, “The Idea Machine,” Vicky Town is a happy-go-lucky, polite storyteller originally from Philadelphia who loves nothing more than interacting with kids of all ages. However, as the show begins, Town transforms into a clumsy, energetic scientist with a big, white coat and safety goggles who just cannot seem to make her great invention work. Through the help of her audience members, she uses clues and stories to teach kids about great scientists and eventually help her machine working.

In a show last week at the Caldwell County Public Library, Town wowed kids from ages 2 to 12 with her art of storytelling. She climbed, rolled, jumped and kicked through mythological tales from other countries like "The Magic Pot" from China and why the turtle has cracks in its shell from Haiti. At the end of the story, the kids had to figure out what invention, idea or field of study made a scientist, like Jacques Cousteau or Albert Einstein, famous.

“I like to play,” Town said. “I think it’s life-affirming. I like to play all the characters, and I like to have the audience participate, too.”

Town has been a storyteller for over 25 years. For her show at the library in Lenoir, she focused her stories on a scientific aspect to go with this year’s Children’s Summer Reading program theme, “Fizz Boom Read.”

“Storytelling is a great way to cover core curricular standards,” Town said.

Allison Sigmon, 10, participated in Town’s storytelling-and-improvisation workshop beforehand. She said that acting is a passion of hers and she was excited to get to be a part of the workshop.

“It was fun. I learned some new games,” Sigmon said.

Friends of the Library sponsored the event. Town said it was her first time working in the North Carolina Public Library system.

“I’ve met the best librarians. They’re full of joy,” Town said. “I feel grateful to be included.”