Scores of Valley tots — and their parents — were mesmerized by the antics of puppet characters Dewey and Sketch, King County Library System’s early literacy program mascots, at a packed Snoqualmie Library performance Tuesday afternoon, April 29.
Puppeteers Elizabeth Luce and Michael “Rowbes” Rowberg said their characters have gained quite the toddler following since the release of their Emmy-nominated DVDs, in which Dewey and Sketch introduce children to the joys of reading while entertaining them.
“Dewey and Sketch have the cutest groupies! They’re just so fun,” Luce said.
The tiny groupies and their parents were impressed by the show.
“The characters were cute, and they did great voices,” said Snoqualmie mom Danielle Majestic, who went with her daughter Kate, 4, and son Will, 2.
Lisa Ramsden was nervous the show wouldn’t be age-appropriate for her 20-month-old son, Henry, but was pleasantly surprised that “it really held his attention.”
In the half-hour show, Dewey meets silly and outrageous characters on his quest to learn to read. After taking a bow, Luce and Rowberg explained how they build and manipulate their puppets. They also fielded questions from young audience members, who mostly asked about the materials used to build Dewey, Sketch and friends.
Luce hoped her work would help instill a love of literature in children before they’re even able to read words on a page.
“If children are read to and play finger games with books, and experience books, and talk about what’s going on, they do much, much better — not just when they get to school, but throughout their whole academic life. It’s really simple, and it’s really important,” she said.
The road show, heavy on potty humor, strives to entertain adults as well as their children.
“We have kid jokes and grown-up jokes, but we also have jokes that bridge that gap, because some things are funny no matter how old you are,” Rowberg said.