Two fairy tales came to life Friday at the Van Noy Library during a special puppet show event that kicked off Fort Belvoir's Summer Reading Program
Kay Dee Puppets presented "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Ugly Duckling" to a crowd of 100 children and parents.
"It's kind of a like a special add-on to the Summer Reading Program," said Katie Buxbaum, children's program coordinator at the Van Noy Library. "It's just a nice, fun, family event that everyone gets a kick out of, and the puppeteers are phenomenal."
The show gives classic fairy tales a few modern twists with jokes and opportunities for audience participation, said Lori Deveneau, one of the puppeteers.
"It's kind of like having a fairy tale come to life," she said. "We try and use slapstick. We try and use a lot of wordplay. We also throw in lines for adults because we've traveled to so many schools and libraries that the parents and the teachers are watching."
Kay Dee Puppets has been a part of Fort Belvoir's Summer Reading Program for 12 years, she said, and helps inspire children to read the stories they see in the show.
"They usually pick stories that the kids can check out from the library, so it just kind of brings the book to life. They get to see it in a different venue," Deveneau said.
Robert Laurenzo, 10, watched the show with his younger sister and especially liked "The Ugly Duckling."
"It was funny," he said. "She was an ugly duck (and then) she realized she was a swan."
At the end of the show, children had the opportunity to meet Mortimer the Mouse, a puppet who has a habit of "tasting" children's ears.
It was eight-year-old Natalie Hafner's favorite part.
"He thought it tasted like a hot fudge sundae," she said, after getting her ear tasted.
Her sister, Anna Hafner, 9, said her favorite part was watching the princess in "The Princess and the Pea" try and get some sleep on a bed with a hidden pea under it. "She was sleeping and kept falling over and knocking her head on the ground," she said, laughing.
The Hafner sisters came to the show with their mother, Jennifer, who said events like this are great inspiration for reading.
"We home school, so it's a good enrichment for the home school (program) and it just encourages them to read," Jennifer Hafner said. "It reminds them that even though they're getting a little bit older … they can have a ton of fun reading and doing different things like this."
For more information on Kay Dee Puppets, visit
For more information on the Van Noy Library's Summer Reading Program, call (703) 805-3323.