Books Brought To Life For East Texas Students

A room full of children, enthralled by.... reading. That's right, reading. But it's not your run-of-the-mill reading. With costumes, props, sets, and talented actresses, it seems a lot more like playtime.

But Linda Goldfarb and Lynn Draper of the Storybook Theatre call it "learning in disguise."

"We are a touring children's theatre group. We wear costumes, we use props, we like to get the kids excited about reading, and through a lot of interaction we do that. Every one of our programs are unique, and all have a different style, but every part of it is learning," says one half of the group, Linda Goldfarb."

For the past 13 years, they've been traveling the nation sharing their passion with thousands of kids: bringing books to life.

"We do well over 300 performances a year and you average over 200 students per performance. So the number of kids we've performed for is in the thousands," Goldfarb says.

The group hit 8 Tyler schools in all and today they're wrapping up. First on the list: Caldwell Arts Academy.

"They incorporate puppets and costumes and change of voice. That's what we feel is our job, to show them that there's an alternative, that it's more than just words on a page. It's a way to get excited," says Lynn Draper, one of the group's creators.

And their last stop in Tyler: Rice Elementary, where they give an interactive reading of the Napping House Book, by Audrey Wood.

Even teachers say they learned a thing or two from the programs.

"It's an opportunity for us to see how they're doing it and something we can take back to our classroom. It helps us to learn to be more interactive," says a first grade teacher at Rice Elementary.

So how does the tale of the Storybook Theatre end? Both Lynn and Linda say, hopefully - it won't.

"We may be little old ladies while we're doing it, but we hope we're the most fun little old ladies doing it. We are affirmed that these young people were meant to be something special. That's why we continue to do this."

For more information about the Storybook Theatre or how to book them, go to and hit the "Know More On 7" icon. There you'll find a link to the group's web site.

Reporting: Braid Sharp