Catch the summer buzz

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 July, 2006, 12:00am

Word wizards will be buzzing with delight when they visit a new exhibition for children at the Hong Kong Central Library.

Animated bees, ants, butterflies and ladybugs are used as icons to teach social skills and encourage leisurely reading in Children's Growth and Development - The Bugs' Community.

A highlight of the Hong Kong Public Libraries' Summer Reading Month, the exhibition focuses on learning through picture books, poems, proverbs and games. It runs until August 21.

The exhibition aims to encourage parents and children to read together, said Mary Cheng Lau Mei-lee, senior librarian (extension activities) at the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

'We looked for themes which would help children understand growth in a social, cognitive and physical way,' said Ms Cheng.

'We developed ideas with bugs, which are an icon of communities. Insects are very social beings. They work together and cannot survive alone.'

The exhibition is divided into different zones. In the Busy Bees Kindergarten visitors can learn about the virtues of patience, confidence, respect, generosity and forgiveness.

The Ladybugs' Playground shows the importance of exercise and a balanced diet, and the Ants Sweet Home will show children how to get along with people. They can also learn proper table manners and social skills.

At the Butterflies Studio, children can explore the meaning of colours and develop a sense of aesthetics and creativity through picture books and poetry.

Parents and children can also take a break in the Reading Boat, which offers a variety of reading materials.

Other zones invite participants to take part in role plays and competitions, and there is a stage area featuring live performances and storytelling.

'We want to stimulate the children's minds,' said Ms Cheng.

'The Bees section uses famous moral quotations, and aims to inspire individuality and awareness of each individual's unique personality. Ladybugs are round and fat and represent health so that section includes information about what's good to eat.

'Ants boast socialising techniques, and this section gives examples of gestures that can be used for international communication.

'Butterflies are creatures of beauty, and this is where we introduce beautiful poetry and the visualisation of nature through writing.'

The exhibition takes up the whole ground floor of the library in Causeway Bay. It was put together over two days with

the help of a production company. Graphic designers were hired to create the bugs, which look similar to the characters in popular animation movies, such as Antz and A Bug's Life.

'It's targeted at children aged four to 12, but I think parents will enjoy sharing the experience,' said Ms Cheng.

'It will be a platform for them to share important information and skills with their children.'

The Summer Reading Month will feature more than 50 interactive activities at public libraries, including dramas, puppet shows, talks and competitions.

Children's films will be shown at the Central Library's Lecture Theatre, including favourites such as Shrek, Running Stripes, Madagascar, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

All activities are free, but some require advance booking. For details, go to For enquiries call 2921 2646.