Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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October 8, 2009

Kids read book as part of world-record attempt

Hundreds of children in the Kokomo area were part of an attempt to set a world record for reading the same book on the same day Thursday.

By noon, 57 children and 44 adults had read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” at Indiana University Kokomo’s Early Childhood Education Center, and hundreds more had read the book or had it read to them at local schools.

This is the fourth year for Read for the Record, an international campaign to break a world record for the largest number of children reading the same book on the same day. Past selections have included “The Little Engine That Could,” “Ferdinand” and “Corduroy.”

According to Jumpstart, the sponsoring organization, nearly 700,000 people read “Corduroy” in 2008 to set a world record.

Dr. Marilyn Skinner, director of the IUK center, said this is the third time the center has offered the activity, and the best turnout she’s had. She thinks more people came because instead of just reading the book, children could make a caterpillar or butterfly in the activity room.

“That’s made a big difference,” she said.

Each family that participated at IU Kokomo received a free board book of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” by Eric Carle.

In the activity room, 4-year-old Anna Pinto carefully colored a tissue with marker, pulled together with a pipe cleaner at its center to be a butterfly.

Her mother, Karin, said they came because “I love the book, and I knew Anna would be excited about coming to get the book.”

Anna said it was a good book.

“I liked it when he ate everything,” she said.

Pinto said she likes how the book teaches counting and has flaps easy for small hands to turn as the caterpillar munches his way through a week.

Kent Coak brought his son, Kacey, 4, as an opportunity to read and be around other children. He flipped through his copy of “Caterpillar” while Kacey played with LEGOs. He appreciates all the activities, toys and books available at the center, he said.

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