They hugged teddy bears, sat on blankets and had what looked like a giant slumber party inside the multipurpose room Thursday night at Monterey Hills Elementary School.
The annual Pajama Story Night on campus, now in its 18th year, wasn’t exactly the perfect place to catch some sleep as Amy Blum had to quiet the crowd – a roomful of excited students brought by their parents taking part in the long anticipated event – more than once as she raised two fingers in the air, meaning please stop talking.
It happens every year as Blum, the school’s longtime librarian knows some kids have been looking forward to this night all year long. “They really enjoy it,” she said, explaining that teachers, past and present, act out a series of children’s books on stage with the help of a narrator.
“It has become a real extravaganza,” explained Blum, who initially held the event in the library, where it began as a modest venture, but has evolved over the years to now include backdrops and costumes and become a “really beloved community event,” she said, noting that not only do the kids enjoy it but the performers as well.
Some former teachers return to the school in their retirement years to be a part of the cast.
For students and performers, Monterey Hills School Principal Dr. Laurie Narro said the event is successful because “There’s a love of books, theatre and fun.”
Narro had plenty of the latter as she joined the ensemble acting out six book titles, including: “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You – The Princess and the Pea,” “La Princesa and the Pea,” “The Most Wonderful Egg in the World,” “Me First,” “Little Hoot,” and “Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf.”
“Amy does a fabulous job, getting the costumes, picks great books with wonderful themes and just brings things to life for the students,” said Narro. “It’s just wonderful.”
Dawn Tull, a 4th and 5th grade student at MHS, called the pajama night “an awesome night. We have so much fun acting out these stories. The kids love it. They get such a kick out of it. It’s just a really fun night.”