Sitting on his mother’s lap during the Children’s Library “Story Hour” at Sea Cliff Beach on Wednesday, 1-year-old Felix Ruderman’s eyes lit up as Ann DiPietro acted out the “Frog Prince” fairy tale.
His mother, Lori Schneider, said it was their first time, and Felix was mesmerized.
“His sister is at camp, so I wanted to do something with him and the beach is gorgeous,” she said.
DiPietro, who heads the Stenson Memorial Library, also referred to as the Children’s Library, performed the show to about 40 children and adults.
“This has been going on for over 20 years,” DiPietro said. “It’s different because the stories are always tweaked a little to have a Sea Cliff flare. It’s a comfortable atmosphere and the children wander off to another blanket and suddenly you meet new friends.” In this case, the three little girls in the story were playing down by Sea Cliff Beach when they found a frog.
Diane Biolsi, an employee of the Children’s Library who helped the children paint afterward, said that most people tell her that their children met their first friends at “Story Hour.”
Shannon Meserve would bring her son Nolan Smith, now 11, to “Story Hour” when he was a toddler. Recently, she and her son brought along her 2-year-old daughter Lucy Jackson to play in the sand and listen to one of her favorite stories.
“We just love it here,” Meserve said. “She does a great job at acting out the stories. It’s definitely the highlight of the week, storytime at the beach.”
Nolan said the beach is his favorite spot in Sea Cliff.
“I like how you can walk anywhere,” Nolan said. “You can go to the beach and swim with your friends. There’s always something to do here.”
Kacy Baeher, has been bringing her daughters Margot, 4 months, and Gwyneth, 1, at least twice a month.
“We try to come as much as we can,” Baeher said. “I’ve lived in Sea Cliff for five years and this is a lot of fun. It brings a sense of community and allows all the moms to get together to interact.”