FAIRMONT - Sitting in the back row of a carpet crowded with children, a gray-haired woman sat on her knees bouncing slightly as she declared to all in earshot she was, in fact, 11 years old and a sixth grader here in Fairmont.
The children, ranging in age from toddlers to middle-schoolers, laughed, casting glances at their mothers, almost sure she was kidding as she tried to convince them her hair was actually blond and all kids have blond hair.
The woman was Katie McKy, author, teacher, and performer. She has written several childrens books, including "Pumpkin Town," which was the theme at a storytelling event held Saturday at Lincoln School.
Katie McKy, author of “Pumpkin Town,” promises Martin County Library Director Jenny Jepsen she will continue with the show if Jepsen gives her lollipops Saturday at a storytelling event at Lincoln School in Fairmont.
Soon McKy was clucking like a chicken as she described to the kids how she felt about going up on stage, and children and parents alike were assuring her she would be OK.
After a quick attempt at an escape from the gymnasium, hugs from the Early Childhood Family Education staff hosting the event and promises from Martin County Library Director Jenny Jepsen that she could use her "cuddly-wubbly" blanket during the performance, McKy had a fully engaged audience laughing and joining in. Several children were invited to come on stage to help her retell her story of how Jose and his family handle an accidental overabundance of pumpkins.
After the storytelling portion of the program, children had the opportunity to make crafts, sing pumpkin songs, meet with the author and purchase her books.
McKy taught school for 23 years before launching her writing career at the behest of her principal, but the teacher in her is still evident. Her skill at engaging a room full of young, costumed children speaks of her abilities.
The program was a joint effort between Martin County Library and ECFE through a grant from the Traverse des Sioux Regional Library System and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.