Library brings drag queens, kids together for story hour

NEW YORK (AP) — It takes a certain something to be a good storyteller: enthusiasm, timing and a flair for the dramatic. Performers at a children's story hour at a New York City library have all that and then some — they're drag queens.


About once a month since last fall, the Brooklyn Public Library has been presenting Drag Queen Story Hour, where performers with names such as Lil Miss Hot Mess and Ona Louise regale an audience of young children and their parents. 

There's even a drag-queen version of "Wheels on the Bus" in which Lil Miss Hot Mess sings of hips that go "swish, swish, swish" and heels that go "higher, higher, higher."

"Drag queens and children don't usually get together, which I think is a shame and one of the benefits of a program like this," Lil Miss Hot Mess said while putting on an outfit that included a silver sequin dress with rainbows, blue and silver glitter eyeshadow and wig of curly blond hair. 

"It's great that it teaches them self-acceptance in a very general way," she said of the program, which got its start in San Francisco.

The response has been largely positive, said Kat Savage, a children's librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library. 

She said the readers select the books they want to read, though the library does maintain lists of suggested books for a range of topics.
And for those who don't approve?

"We just tell people: 'If it's not for you, you don't have to come,'" she said.

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