To encourage participation in the summer reading program, the New Lenox Public Library brought in FrogLady to present a reptile and amphibian show.
Held on June 10, the one-hour program offered an opportunity for area residents to see, touch and learn about various critters. The presentation was a first for the library, which is intended to help the Village in kicking off its summer festivities.
“I bring live reptiles and amphibians, and our main goal today is to get people to not be afraid of them and to see how fantastic they are,” said Deb Krohn, the self-proclaimed FrogLady. “We see things on TV all the time that make these animals look really scary and icky, so the main goal is to get people to get over that and see that they’re not really worth of that reputation.”
Krohn added hopefully, the children will leave the program with a better sense for the critters they see and the important purpose they serve in the world.
“Our program coordinator, Jen Thompson, she wanted to find something that matched our theme for the summer reading program, which is ‘Reading by Design,’ which features STEAM and STEM themes,” said Carolyn Boyer, youth services assistant for the New Lenox Public Library.
The show does a nice job of complementing the library’s theme for its summer reading program, Boyer said.
Julie Wheeler was one of more than 70 people who pre-registered and dropped in to participate in the program. She said it was enjoyable.
“We thought it would be fun and interesting,” the New Lenox resident said. “[My son, Josh, is] an animal lover.”
Julie’s 8-year-old son, Josh, said his favorite part of the show occurred when FrogLady put a sombrero on a lizard.
“She dressed up a lizard,” she said. “We thought it was funny.”
The program provided a nice space for her kids to learn more about reptiles and amphibians, Julie said.
“He learned about snakes and everything,” she said.
The Wheeler’s own a dog, but they do not have any reptiles or amphibians in their home. Julie said she has been hesitant to take in another pet and said the last thing they need is another animal.
“He wants one,” Julie said Josh’s interest in critters. “It makes me think twice. Maybe, he can get one. It makes me a little more open.”
Justin Goodwin, of New Lenox, said he’s glad he and his children decided to go to the program.
“It’s something educational for the kids,” he said. “It’s something nice at the library.”
Justin’s 5-year-old son, Clark, said he most enjoyed seeing the frogs.
Justin’s 8-year-old daughter, Addison, said seeing the “the snake that looked like a lizard” was surprising, and Justin agreed.
“It was a leg-less lizard that looks like a snake,” he said. “That’s surprising because it looked like a snake, but it was really just a lizard.”
Justin said there’s a lot to like about FrogLady’s presentation.
“It’s very informative and especially entertaining for the children,” he said.
Justin added that his family does not anticipate having to consider the idea of bringing in any critters, “which makes this more interesting to come out here and see them.”
Krohn said a lesser theme to takeaway from the show is the importance of doing one’s homework before taking in an animal as a pet.
“If you want an animal as a pet, first of all do your research,” Krohn said. “Because a lot of these they get them and they’re, ‘Well, that’s not what I expected.’ So, they dump them. Secondly, if you want one, check out a rescue first because there are so many that [need a home.]”
Boyer said she thinks patrons appeared to enjoy FrogLady’s presentation.
“I’m sure we will because it seemed to be very popular, so I’m sure we will have her back again,” she said.