Wheaton Rotary brings Little Free Library to Cantigny Park

  • Cantigny Park has opened a Little Free Library near the Red Oaks Farm playground.

    Cantigny Park has opened a Little Free Library near the Red Oaks Farm playground. Courtesy of Jeff Reiter

  • Cantigny Park Executive Director Matt LaFond helps unveil a Little Free Library built by Wheaton Rotarians.

    Cantigny Park Executive Director Matt LaFond helps unveil a Little Free Library built by Wheaton Rotarians. Courtesy of Jeff Reiter

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 5/13/2021 12:30 PM

So you've found a shady spot on a bench in one of Cantigny Park's idyllic gardens, and all that's missing is a good book to read to your child.

Families can now hit the shelves of a "Little Free Library" installed near the park's Red Oaks Farm playground.

 

The mini library may distract kids from the slides and swings. At a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony, children were enamored with the cute book-sharing box, built to look like a tiny wooden house with a shingled roof.

Open the hinged door, and beginning readers to young adults can find a collection of the classics and multicultural books.

Cantigny is participating in "Read in Color," a program that aims to bring diverse children's books to Little Free Library boxes around the world so kids see themselves reflected in the pages. The Little Free Library nonprofit organization launched the effort last summer in Minneapolis after the police killing of George Floyd.

Recent "Read in Color" titles stocked in Cantigny's library included "Jazz" by Walter Dean Myers; "Alma and How She Got Her Name" by Juana Martinez-Neal; "Unstoppable" by Art Coulson; "Jorge y Marta" by James Marshall; and "La Gallinita Roja" by Elva R. Lopez.

Overall, Cantigny amassed more than 350 titles for the free book exchange. The Wheaton Rotary designed and built the library cabinet, painted in a shade of red that matches the playground color scheme.

Cantigny visitors are encouraged to take a book or donate a book to replenish the shelves and promote literacy.

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