Summer Arboretum StoryWalk encourages participants to Dance Like a Flamingo

The summer book selection for the Berks Libraries/Reading Public Museum StoryWalk trail will have readers leaping like a lemur and scuttling like a crab. Dance Like a Flamingo, written by Moira Butterfield and illustrated Claudia Boldt, is currently on display and will have you emulating the movements of various animals from around the world in this motion-centered picture book.

The Arboretum StoryWalk is a collaboration between Berks County Public Libraries and the Reading Public Museum to bring together the joys of reading and love of the outdoors. Featured titles are bilingual stories that periodically rotate to align with current Museum exhibitions.

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This storybook pairs with the Museum’s exhibition The Robot Zoo, on exhibit now through September 4.

Robot Zoo reveals the magic of nature as a master engineer. Eight robot animals and more than a dozen hands-on activities illustrate fascinating real-life characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colors, a giant squid propels itself, and a fly walks on the ceiling.

The larger-than-life-size animated robots include a chameleon, a rhinoceros, a giant squid with 18-foot tentacles and a platypus. Machinery in the robot animals simulates the body parts of their real-life counterparts. In the robot animals, muscles become pistons, intestines become filtering pipes and brains become computers.

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Animation in the robots imitates real-life behaviors. The robot chameleon rocks back and forth, as it turns its head, looks around and fires its tongue at its insect prey. The front legs of the platypus swim in breaststroke style while the tail moves up and down. The tentacles of the giant squid grip a struggling fish, while the squid’s beak-like mouth opens to reveal a spinning food grinder.

The exhibit comes to RPM from Evergreen Exhibitions and is based on the book The Robot Zoo which was conceived, edited and designed by Marshall Editions of London, England.

After completing the StoryWalk, visitors may stop inside The Museum to request an activity bag. Berks County Public Library cardholders can borrow The Robot Zoo and other books along with Reading Public Museum admission passes from their local library.

Reading School District students are granted free Museum and Planetarium access and may be accompanied by two adults at no cost. Students must show a District ID card, and the adults who accompany them must show proof they reside in zip codes within the District.

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