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Puppets help push reading
The Gainesville Branch of the Hall County Library System in Gainesville is full Tuesday morning during a puppet production by David Stephens of All Hands Productions. Storyteller Barry Stewart Mann will perform June 13 at the Murrayville branch library at 10:30 a.m. and at the Spout Springs branch library at 2:30 p.m. - photo by SARA GUEVARA | The Times

Children laughed, roared and cheered during a presentation of The Reluctant Dragon at the Gainesville Branch of the Hall County Library System on Tuesday morning.

The library kicked off its summer reading program “Dream Big Read!” with a puppet show, paid for by the Friends of the Hall County Library System.

David Stephens of All Hands Productions entertained children with the story of a dragon who could care less about being ferocious and the world-famous dragon slayer who never actually earned his title.

After the show, Stephens explained the different kinds of puppets he used and how he made them.

Stephens has been hosted by Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts and has been a puppeteer on Sesame Street.

He was also a featured puppeteer in Jim Henson’s “Emmet Otter,” a musical adaptation of a Henson classic, in 2008 and 2009.