The creators of Peg + Cat, the popular PBS television show and book series, came to Central Library for a special storytime today as the last event of JetBlue’s Soar with Reading initiative at Queens Public Library.
JetBlue’s BookDrop book vending machine, which dispenses free books for kids ages 0-14, has been in front of the Children’s Library Discovery Center this summer, and has given away thousands of free books to library customers. As part of the Soar with Reading initiative, the library held three storytimes, including a reading of an Avengers book by major league baseball player Todd Frazier and a kickoff event with children’s author David Ezra Stein. In addition, the library hosted a careers panel for teens that featured JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes as well as crewmembers including a pilot, a recruiter, a manager of crewmember experience, and an infight team leader.
Today’s guests, Peg + Cat creators Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson, met when both were working on the show Wonder Pets. They teamed up to create the award-winning show about a girl named Peg and her cat who solve problems using math. At the storytime, about 200 people listened as the two read Peg’s Messy Room and sang songs accompanied by a ukuele, including the show’s theme song and the problem-solving song. Peg’s Messy Room was available during the first wave of vending machine books; many Peg + Cat books are available now at the library.
Not only were the book and show creators at the library—Peg and Cat themselves also made appearances, posing for pictures with children and their families. The authors took questions from the audience, explaining that every Peg + Cat episode consists of a story that kids can relate to as well as math. In addition, Oxley shared that her own cat, which often sat on her desk while she was trying to work, was the inspiration for the character Cat. Aronson explained that the creators like the show to appeal to grownups as well as children because he thinks it’s more fun if everyone’s watching together.
Storytime guests received giveaways that included a Peg + Cat book. Thank you to JetBlue for a wonderful summer of letting our imaginations soar with reading.