Far from timid and hesitant, 2-year-old Stella Hourigan was the first to run toward and hug Sammy Clarita during a special reading Wednesday with the city of Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean at the Old Town Newhall Library.
Soon after her jubilant approach, several other toddlers followed. Excitement built up during the reading of “Sammy Stories — Meet Santa Clarita,” a newly, city-produced story about Santa Clarita history and Sammy, the city’s miniature stuffed-horse mascot.
Through multiple, colorful pages of illustrations and tidbits of local facts, about two dozen children and their parents had the first look into the book during a “Just for 2’s and 3’s” storytime event at the library.
Stella’s grandmother, Mary Slankard, was among the group of attendees who shared their thoughts on the city’s children’s book. “I think it’s really educational for the kids and gives the grandparents something to do with the little ones,” she said. “I have a grandson in second grade and, hopefully, he’ll be taking advantage of that.”
When her grandson enters third grade, he and other third-graders throughout the SCV will have access to the book, as well as every city public library branch, which will hold 10 copies each, according to Carrie Lujan, city communications manager, who co-authored the story.
“I believe our libraries and reading are one of the most important things that we can bring to our families and our kids growing up,” McLean said after the reading. “This book is a really cute story and it’s for the parents and the kids, as well, because it gives a history of how Sammy came to be and gives a little bit of Santa Clarita and how we are named after the Santa Clara River.”
To find out more about the Santa Clarita Public Library, visit santaclaritalibrary.com.