Nearly a dozen stuffed animals took over the Galloway Township branch of the Atlantic County Library last week for a sleepover that was out of this world.
Before tucking in their furry friends for the night, Youth Services Librarian Loretta Lisowski read the children and their animals three stories.
"One of the stories I read was about how while we are sleeping, people in another part of the world are up working, and while we are up doing things, other people are asleep," she said.
Rebecca Crowley, 7, of Galloway Township, brought her stuffed turtle, Flowers, to the sleepover.
"I named her Flowers because I really like flowers and she has flowers on her back," she said. "I wanted Flowers to stay at the library because she likes to sleep over places and I thought it would be fun for her."
Rebecca came to the sleepover event with her best friend, Emma Jordal, 7.
Emma brought her favorite teddy bear, Coco, along with her.
"Coco is special because my dad gave him to me for Valentine's Day," she said. "Coco likes sleepovers a lot."
Emma's mother, Janie Jordal, thought the library sleepover event was a nice event to bring the soon to be second-graders to, because it was a chance for them to have fun while keeping their reading skills fresh.
"They both came to storytime here at the library when they were younger, but now that they are getting older, they can't do that as much," Jordal said. "This gives them a chance to keep up their skills - perfect them, actually. Since they are going to be in second grade, reading is becoming more and more important."
After putting their stuffed animals to bed, the children expected to come back to get them Thursday afternoon, but Lisowski had a surprise in store: While at the sleepover, the animals went on trips around the world.
"The animals are taking a shuttle to the Atlantic City airport and going on trips to visit different landmarks around the world," she said.
The children arrived to see a PowerPoint presentation, featuring their stuffed animals next to landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.
Lisowski said she chose to have the animals "take a trip" as a way to show the children there is more to the world than what they see in Galloway Township.
"Our summer reading theme this year is 'One World, Many Stories'", she said. "This was a way to expose them to different cultures and a world outside of Galloway Township."
All of the animals survived the sleepover - and world tour - of 2011.
Contact Shabria Davis: