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Teaching Kids Compassion Through Storytelling and Art

By Jasmin Singer — February 03, 2012

Nothing gets me — I mean kids — more excited than hands-on programs that allow them to take part in storytelling, art projects, and creative movement. When you combine that kind of creativity with animal advocacy and humane education, you have a whole new budding generation of compassionate children. Public Eye: Artists for Animals, the Philadelphia-based group that last made Our Hen House news when they were organizing vegan holiday cooking classes for kids, is once again wowing us with their strong commitment to using the arts to promote a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Book Illustration from “Lightfoot the Deer” (credit: Harrison Cady)

Their event, “‘Stories from the Wild’ at Central Library” will feature the classic children’s book, Lightfoot the Deer, written by Thornton W. Burgess and illustrated by Harrison Cady, which tells the story of a deer and his hunter, from the deer’s point of view. Storyteller Loretta-Lucy Miller will act as the storyteller at this event (an event which is making me wonder I should reserve a seat on the Bolt Bus — because the City of Brotherly Love is calling!). Artist Zipora Schula and dancer Lara Vracarich will be helping to lead the kiddies in the hands-on portion of the afternoon. It will take place on Saturday, February 18, from 2-4 p.m., at Story Hour Room of the Parkway Central Library Children’s Department, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. The event is free, and it is recommended that you make reservations, by emailing publiceyephilly [at]

For those of you not in the Philadelphia area (and if you’re not, you should probably find yourself there sometime soon, since the new vegan hotspot, Vedge, just opened), it is pretty easy to host an event like this all by yourself. You can either use Lightfoot the Deer, or you can browse around on VegBooks for other animal-friendly books. Be sure to include pro-animal themed activities that make the young ones not only engage in artistic expression, but also begin dialogue with their friends (and with you) about why animals are our friends — not our food.

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