Storybook Breakfast a hit with the kids

 By Hugo Rodrigues / Expositor Staff

 As Clifford the Big Red Dog got closer to him in his room at the Brantford General Hospital and started signing a book, the shy smile on four-year-old Liam’s face got wider.

Clifford, with pals Super Grover and Bert, toured the pediatrics ward at the hospital Saturday afternoon, the third act of Kids Can Fly’s annual Storybook Breakfast that kicked off at 9 a.m. at the city’s Rossini Lodge. Board member Tracy MacMillan, who brought the characters to the hospital and helped guide them around, explained how the third act has been added on over the past several years in partnership with event sponsors.

At the lodge in the morning, its hall was packed for two sittings of the increasingly popular event.

Kids Can Fly executive director Sharon Brooks said the fifth annual event sold out on the second day tickets were available, with 340 tickets gone the first day. The premise behind the breakfast is to allow families of young children to interact informally with their favourite literary characters as a means of encouraging them to read together.

“Reading is really more than words,” Brooks said, seated on the stage at Rossini in between introducing characters to an eager crowd of families who alternated between breakfast and seeking photos and autographs from the storybook characters. “We hope this encourages families sitting down with their children and reading with them.”

Kids Can Fly works to both amass a collection of popular storybook character costumes in its permanent collection and also works with Canadian and U.S. publishers to rent costumes so that its offerings suit the changing yet constant nature of children’s literature.

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 Check out the gallery of pictures from the breakfast held on Saturday, February 4, 2012.