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Prettiness Grows in the Eyes of Beholder

December 13, 1985|WILLIAM E. SMART | The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Lynne Casey, the newest Kid on the Block, is "almost 12. Well, I'll be 12 in February."

Lynne was developed by the Kids on the Block Inc. in conjunction with St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and the Burn Foundation of Philadelphia. She made her debut in Philadelphia recently, as well as appearing in a special preview at the Kids headquarters in Alexandria, Va. The preview audience included a group of students from Alexandria's Cora Kelly School.

Lynne and her mother were burned (Mom less seriously) when the gas heater in their house blew up.

Lynne was greeted with a dramatic, somewhat shocked reaction when the Cora Kelly school kids first saw her face, but by the end of the performance they were carrying on a lively question-and-answer session with her and puppeteer and Kids creator Barbara Aiello.

Dressed in a jumper, sweat shirt and sneakers, the 3 1/2-foot-tall Lynne weighs in at 4 pounds--of muslin, felt, velour, foam and plastic.

"We start to feel affectionate toward Lynne," says workshop supervisor Annette Ferri, 23, "as soon as we start constructing her face, putting her nose and ears on."

The workshop, Ferri says, turns out "20 to 25 kids a week, depending on how difficult they are to make." Lynne is a toughie. It takes 15 to 18 hours to make each Lynne puppet, Ferri says.

As the students started to leave the room, one little girl announced: "Well, Lynne, I think you're kind of pretty."

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