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Time for a Story

Two Valley bookstores will offer tales for tots Saturday.


Young children, ages 3 to 8, will get their fair share of small and tall tales Saturday as storytelling events are held at bookstores in Tarzana and Northridge. And because one of the hourlong events is at 11 a.m. and the other is at 2 p.m., some parents might find themselves driving their children to both.

"Who's Hiding?" is the theme of the morning session, conducted by storyteller Elaine Adler at Pages Books for Children. "It's about the excitement of hiding--and the thrill of discovery," said Adler, who will read excerpts from several books. Titles include "Hiding" by Dorothy Aldis and Heather Collins, "Alphonse, Where Are You?" by Linda Winkler, and "Mixed Up Cameleon" by Eric Carle.

A veteran of more than a decade of storytelling presentations at public libraries, and at Pages bookstore in Tarzana, Adler is the Los Angeles County Library's Regional Youth Services coordinator in Santa Clarita. She also conducts training sessions for librarian-storytellers.

Saturday morning's story time for kids will last half an hour and is free. Afterward, kids can stay on to participate in a crafts program with finger puppets and felt boards. For the craft materials, there is a charge of $3.

An afternoon program, at 2 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Northridge, will feature the "Gribich" series of books, written by the husband and wife team of Marcus and Shirley Porus and co-writer Philip Lang.

Their fictional character, pronounced GRIB-itch, is a friendly, owl-like creature that serves as a vehicle for their message that kids can develop friendships as well as conflict-resolution skills.

"Gribich is a very old soul who knows how to be a friend to creatures in the forest and help them resolve the conflicts they face," according to the authors' publicist, Lewis Christian, who attributed the sentiment to the authors. The authors and illustrator Steven Jay Porus (Shirley and Marcus' son) will conduct Saturday's hourlong storytelling session.

There will also be an appearance by a "real" Gribich, who is probably a person in a funny suit, but don't tell that to the kids.

The Gribich book series so far includes "Who Is Gribich," "Trip to Planet Doog" and "Poof Wolf's New House".

The last book, which is the newest, deals with environmental threats to the forest where the creatures in the story dwell.


"Who's Hiding?" story time for kids at Pages Books for Children, 18399 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana. Sat., 11 a.m., free; (818) 342-6657.

"Gribich and Friends," story-reading and book-signing event for kids at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 8800 Tampa Ave., Northridge. Sat., 2 p.m., free; (818) 773-0821.

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