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Bronxville, Eastchester Libraries Welcome Children's Author

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – In the grand finale of their “Musical Adventures in the Library” program, the Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe Public Libraries welcomed on Monday award-winning children’s author Andrea Pinkney to perform two of her books at the Sommer Center at Concordia College.

The performance featured Pinkney reading and signing her books “Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down” and “Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride,” accompanied by music. Concordia Conservatory faculty members Rami Vamos and Matt Van Brink played the guitar and piano while Pinkney spoke to the children.

Ellen Tannenbaum, youth services librarian at the Tuckahoe Library, said that Pinkney’s style of writing lent itself perfectly for what they hoped to accomplish through the program.

“She’s got a very musical text, her books really demand to be read aloud,” she said. “It’s a very rhythmic text when you’re reading it. We considered other authors, but we thought that she would work the best.”

Pinkney’s first reading dealt with the sit-ins of the 1960s and how it only takes one small action to spark reform. While her subject matters were deep, the children were interested and engaged, singing along and following the words as they were shown on a projector screen.

“I wrote about sit-ins because they were started by young people just like you,” she said to the audience. “They had no way of knowing that their one simple act would change the world.”

During her second reading, Pinkney told the tale of Isabella Baumfree, the abolitionist and women’s rights activist more commonly known by her self-given name, Sojourner Truth.

“The children were very engaged and active,” she said. “It just goes to show that even though these events happened so long ago, it still strikes a chord with young people.”

The event was sponsored by the Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe in collaboration with the town’s public libraries. This is the fifth consecutive year the Community Fund sponsored “Musical Adventures in the Library with Concordia Conservatory.”

“I think working with musicians really enhanced the experience of the literature,” Pinkney said. “The main thing I hope they take out of the event is that reading can take you places.”

Following her performance, Pinkney answered questions from the audience and signed copies of her books for the children.

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