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Ball of Yarns 

Pull up a chair and listen to some of the region's top storytellers reenact beloved tall tales.

Finger puppets and fairy-tale readings aren't enough for Becky Davis to entertain her young charges. So three years ago, the Akron librarian stormed into her boss' office with a wacky idea to pool together the most revered yarn-spinners in Northeast Ohio for the first-ever Akron Storytelling Festival. "I just felt that storytelling got kids ready for literature, for those bigger stories out there," says Davis. "Lo and behold, two of our board members had gone to a storytelling festival, and they came back wanting more." For this weekend's fest, the lineup of readers features actress Dolores Hydock and puppeteer Willy Claflin, with his faithful sidekicks Maynard Moose, Gorf the Frog, and Riboculous the Raccoon. Author Syd Lieberman will also share his real-life story about growing up Jewish in Chicago. "If someone tells a story about their past, you remember your own," says Davis. "It's about what you know. You are the story." The fest starts at 9:30 a.m. today and tomorrow at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 South High Street in Akron. Admission is free. Call 330-643-9040 or visit
July 18-19, 9:30 a.m., 2008

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