I was definitely a Sesame Street kid. Thirty years later, I can still remember laying on my stomach in my parents’ living room to watch the adventures of Big Bird and Cookie Monster. I was afraid of the Yip-Yip aliens and had a special affection for the short animated movies about counting that took place in a pinball machine. My absolute favorite Sesame Street segment, though, has always been the one that explains how crayons are made. A little girl holds a orange crayon up to her blue eye as the camera fades into the Crayola Factory where we get to watch the step-by-step process of orange wax being turned into crayons. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you can watch the clip too!
I loved this segment so much that I begged my parents to take me to the Crayola factory. In 1988, you could still tour the actual factory floor, where as now you can only tour a visitors’ center. I remember holding my father’s hand as we walked past rows and rows of crayons waiting to go into boxes. The mandatory hardhat kept falling down over my eyes, but I didn’t mind because our tour guide gave me a freshly made Lemon Yellow crayon right straight from the line.
I’ve never lost my love of coloring. I was a YMCA director for a few years during college. I worked in before and after school care and spent a lot of my time coloring with first graders. One of them taught me that if you color first in crayon and then go back over top of it with a marker, the page will glimmer! I was incredibly excited when I realized that coloring books designed for adults were quickly becoming an anti-stress phenomenon! My cousin, Florence, was one of the first grown-ups I knew who could regularly be found at her kitchen table with colored pencils filling in intricate floral designs. Then my colleagues at the William Jeanes Memorial Library started a coloring club for adults. Before long, Miss Jenn and I decided that we wanted to start one at UDPL.
I’m happy to announce that starting in January, Miss Jenn and I will be hosting a monthly coloring club for people of ALL AGES called Coloring Between the Lines. Our first session will be held on Saturday, January 16 from 1-2p. We’ll have everything you’ll need for a relaxing hour of coloring – coloring pages, colored pencils, crayons, and markers. And yes, we will have the Harry Potter coloring book everyone is so excited about! (We’ll have Doctor Who, too, when it comes out in February! And Sherlock. And every other BBC television program that gets turned into a coloring book!)