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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 4, 2009

Storytime series begins at UI Museum of Natural History

A new, monthly storytime series that begins Sunday, Feb. 15 will help children become acquainted with the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History.

Held at 2 p.m. the third Sunday of each month from February to May, each free, public "Animal Tales Storytime" will feature Museum of Natural History student staff members or volunteers reading books that relate to a museum exhibit or an animal in the museum's collection.

The topic for the Feb. 15 series kick-off is pandas, and the storytime will be held in front of the museum's Giant Panda display in Mammal Hall, located on third floor of Macbride Hall on the UI Pentacrest.

Other "Animal Tales Storytime" events are planned for the following Sundays at 2 p.m.:
--March 15 in Mammal Hall: Primates.
--April 19 in Biosphere Discovery Hub: Dr. Seuss's "The Lorax."
--May 27 in Hageboeck Hall: Bird Migration.

Past storytimes at the Museum of Natural History have taken place on the museum's cozy polar bear rug. This year's program has been expanded to connect directly to other museum exhibits and engage children with the environment, said Sarah Horgen, museum education and outreach coordinator. At the April 19 event, for example, museum staff and volunteers will read Dr. Seuss's "The Lorax." First published in 1971, this book chronicles the story of the "Lorax," a creature that defends a community's trees from an industrial interloper, the "Once-ler." The book has gained prominence for its environmental themes.

Horgen said the museum hopes the storytime events will provide a good way for children to engage with the Museum of Natural History's collection and give parents a break on Sunday afternoons.

"We noticed that there are no other area storytimes on Sunday," Horgen said. "We wanted to give families another option, and my staff really enjoys interacting with the kids."

Following each storytime, children may take part in an activity, such as a scavenger hunt, or receive an activity to do at home.

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History features three permanent galleries exploring natural history and emerging environmental research in Iowa and beyond. For more information visit or call 319-335-0480.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Horgen, UI Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,; Writer: Maggie Anderson