The animals awaken from their winter's nap to discover that a tall, green "thing" has popped up right through the middle of their forest home in "Over the Hedge."
Kids urged to ‘hedge’ their bets and read
Given overloaded schedules, after-school activities, computers, television and electronic games, many youngsters may find there's not enough time to leisurely sit and read a book.
DreamWorks Animation is teaming up with public libraries to encourage children to visit the library through a reading incentive program, "Let Reading Take You Over the Hedge!"
The contest runs in conjunction with the new movie "Over the Hedge," which opens May 19. Children must check out a minimum of three books from today through May 26 to enter. A drawing at the end of the contest will award a grand prize winner with a private screening for 50. Three first runners-up will receive a special-edition "Over the Hedge" lithograph, and 20 third runner-ups will receive "Over the Hedge" Scholastic Activity Book prize packs.
Brenda Freitas-Obregon, children's librarian at Kalihi Palama Public Library, is looking forward to the program. "We want to get kids to read," she said. The three-book minimum should not be a problem. Kids rarely come in and borrow a single book, she explained. "Books are like potato chips, you can't have just one. Especially, if they are reading a series ... they borrow as many as possible."
Freitas-Obregon hopes that people realize that public libraries offer more than just books. DVDs can be rented for $1 per week, and libraries provide access to the Internet. "A library card is one of the few free things from the State of Hawaii," she said.
Local libraries also offer an array of programs suited for all ages. "We start with babies -- with the 'Tiny Tales for Tiny Tots' program," she said. Parents and grandparents come, and we have stories, songs, dances and crafts. Children learn in so many different ways."
Elementary students are enticed into recreational reading through summer reading programs, movie nights and other activities including magic shows and theater performances.
Among Freitas-Obregon's favorite programs are "Pajama Monday," a leisurely story time and "Wacky Wednesday," where kids create a "total mess and build stuff out of recycled junk."
She is also pleased that her library is "jumping with teens."
"They are finding that the library is cool in more ways than one. They come in to find reference material and for recreational reading," she said. "Plus, we have air conditioning and it is safe."