This month’s Drag Queen Story Hour came with a Halloween theme ready to spook the kids! Atlanta comedian and drag queen, Brent Star joined the festivities, showing up dressed as one of his favorite author’s characters, Dr. Suess’ Cat in the Hat.
Brent animatedly read the first three Halloween-themed books to the audience of babies, toddlers, tweens, and adults as Cat in the Hat. Brent read “I Am Invited to a Party,” one of the books in the “The Elephant and The Piggy” book series, “Peppa the Pig Halloween Costume,” and “Monsters Come out Tonight.” Then in Brent Star fashion, he did a costume change while Marc Stiles, Posman manager, passed out candy to the group. Brent returned as Dr. Seuss’ Thing 1 to read the remaining two books, “Green Eggs & Ham” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”
Brent did more than read to his audience, he provided comedic ad-libs to the stories. Besides reading the popular children’s books, Brent got the audience up and moving with the children’s song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” after reading a book. Later to break up the reading, he played a Hot Potato musical passing game – the kids and adults got a kick out of passing a toy potato around among the audience.
For the past two years, Posman Books has been holding the Drag Queen Story Hour. Marc said he has not been surprised by the event’s positive reception in the liberal community.
However, this spring a local drag queen, Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker’s story hour was removed from the Fulton library system. “We’ve never had any pushback or comments,” Marc added of his store’s monthly drag queen readings. “It’s been extremely popular,” he added.
While the story hour is an attraction to get people into the store, Marc said the Drag Queen Story Hour “teaches diversity and expands children and adult’s minds.” Interestingly, while there are a few regulars who attend, Marc said there is always a different group of families and people who drop in for the Drag Queen Story Hour.
That was the case for a first-time attendee, Eleanor Matsuura. Eleanor brought her 23-month-old daughter, Yoshimi. “I’m a huge fan of drag queens and the drag community and as soon as I heard about this, it was a slam dunk,” Eleanor said. Eleanor wanted her young daughter to take part she says, “Because I want my kid to know about drag queens because they are fabulous.”
Ironically, when the store opened, Marc said they tried to have a regular story hour for kids two days a week, but no one ever attended. But, Brent and drag queen Edie Cheezburger are two of the popular readers and have been a natural fit for the first of its kind in the city of Atlanta.
Brent, who is a drag performer at night and is also a kid’s entertainer at parties during the day, said being involved in the story hour was a perfect fit for him. For the past two years, Brent has brought a variety of characters to his readings.
“I love when parents bring the kids,” he noted. To parents who may be a little hesitant to attend a Drag Queen Story Hour, Brent acknowledged, “My job is to entertain the kids and make them interested in books and reading, and when they get in the car and the kids ask questions, the parents’ job is to answer them.” Brent said young children are going to find out about drag queens so “what better way to introduce them to drag queens than with the story hour with their parents.”
Brent enjoys interacting with the children and parents during the storytime, and added, “I’m more surprised with the number of adults who show up without kids.”
The next Drag Queen Story Hour will feature Edie Cheezburger and will be held Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2pm. Brent Star will return in December.
Posman Books is located at 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, C197. You can also check out their website at www.posmanbooks.com.