Those who believe that the library is a place where you have to be quiet are all wrong when it comes to children. This summer the Chicago Public Libraries are giving kids reasons to be as exuberant as they want to be. As part of a NatureConnections program, children can listen to a story about butterflies and then craft one of their own. In conjunction with the summer reading program called "Look Around Read Around Chicago," events at various branches include music about the streets of old Chicago by folk singer Mark Dvorak, tales about the city by storyteller Linda Gorham and verbal acrobatics by Dr. Gesundheit, who will tell about some historical figures. Programs also include ones by Chicago museums as well as arts and crafts workshops. Beautiful Butterflies, 2 p.m. Saturday, Thomas Hughes Children's Library, 400 S. State St., free; 312-747-4200. Call you local branch for other programs.
DuSable Museum's Penny Cinema gets its name from the fact that each screening is priced at 1 cent. Films include ones for youngsters ages 5-11 such as the movie about Anansi the spider who outsmarts a snake, all to the rhythms of a reggae soundtrack by UB40 and narration by Denzel Washington. Older kids ages 11-16 can see a film about some street-smart youngsters who have a chance to become chess champions and another about what happens when a young girl who excels in basketball finds out that her great-uncle was one of Hollywood's first black film directors. Penny Cinema, "Anansi" and other shorts, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, "The Mighty Pawns," 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, "You Must Remember This," 10:30 a.m. Thursday, DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., 1 cent; 773-947-0600.
Kids can learn how to make silhouettes at Children in Paradise Bookstore. The first time they will make one of the Chicago skyline at sunrise. The next week they will use black paint and wax crayons to create one that looks like it's the city's skyline at midnight. Sunrise Silhouettes, 11 a.m. Saturday, Midnight Masterpiece, 11 a.m. July 31, Children in Paradise Bookstore, 909 Rush St., free; 312-952-KIDS.
Not only can kids pretend to be paleontologists by unearthing bones in the excavation pit of the Dinosaur Expedition! exhibit at the Chicago Children's Museum,but they also can expand on their adventure with a number of activities. They can draw a grid map of the dig, repair pieces of dinosaur bones and cast a fossil in clay to take home. Dinosaur Fun Fare, activities vary from day to day, through Aug. 28, Chicago Children's Museum, Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., $6.50; 312-527-1000.
Maes is a Chicago freelance writer.