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Espresso Your Imagination: Wickson Library’s “STARBOOKS” Experience

In the Children’s Wing of the Wickson Library, a magical transformation is taking place. While the Fall season is ushering in cooler temps, Wickson Library’s dramatic playhouse is about to open as “STARBOOKS,” serving up warm drinks, toasty treats, and whatever else our youngest members can dream up.

Beth Emmons, Wickson Library's Early Learning Specialist, recalls her own experience with a playhouse during her days as a kindergarten teacher. "I used to have a playhouse in my classroom, and it was the most popular station because children are natural with their imaginations," she says.

Wickson Library purchased their playhouse last November with a generous donation that was earmarked for the children’s library. The playhouse was first a Post Office, and is currently a flower shop. Next, Wickson’s playhouse will be transformed into a “STARBOOKS,” a bookish coffee shop in honor of Susan Daoust, whose book club friends donated funds to purchase a barista play set, a tea set, and aprons for the children.

Dramatic play is wildly beneficial to children. It serves as a fertile ground for the development of creative thinking and storytelling abilities, bolstering literacy skills, enhancing reading comprehension, and teaching life skills such as conflict resolution. More than just fun and games, dramatic play offers children a chance to work through their differences and provides an emotional outlet to work through real-life scenarios.

Dramatic play can flourish anywhere, but having a dedicated space like the "STARBOOKS" playhouse at Wickson Library elevates the experience. Within this miniature world, a child's imagination knows no bounds. With just a few props, the playhouse can effortlessly transform into a supermarket, a doctor's office, a fire station, or even a charming coffee shop. Here, props, costumes, and everyday items serve as catalysts for imaginative adventures.

Emmons is enthusiastic about the future possibilities of the playhouse. "Looking ahead, I would love to turn the house into a vet clinic, an ice cream shop, a dentist's office, pizza parlor, laundromat, weather station, and bakery. I'm constantly brainstorming ideas and am always open to any suggestions. The flower shop idea came from a conversation I had with a patron," she shares.

The "STARBOOKS" playhouse, and every iteration of the dramatic playhouse to follow, invites children and families to step into a world of creativity, learning, and boundless imagination. Whether it's selling a customer a book of stamps, arranging a stunning bouquet, or serving a cup of pretend coffee (decaf latte with almond milk and a touch of maple syrup, please!), the playhouse promises an enriching and immersive experience for all who enter.

With so many benefits to dramatic play, we are thrilled to have such a wonderful resource at the Wickson Library. We hope you’ll stop in for a “STARBOOKS” soon. I’m certain there will be plenty of eager children waiting to serve you. And for the grown-ups seeking a real coffee fix, fear not—Wickson Library has Keurig Coffee available near the circulation desk. Just ask one of our friendly staff members for assistance. Happy reading!

Susan Dauost Book Club Friends honor her through a library donation. Thank you for thinking of the library for your generous donation.

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