Youth at the Albany-Springfield Branch of the Livingston Parish Library were in for a special treat when local author and illustrator Karen Wallsten kicked off the library’s summer storytime program on Wednesday, June 5.

Wallsten, a San Francisco native who now calls south Louisiana home, visited the Albany-Springfield Branch as part of a new author’s storytime program hosted by the library. 

“Author’s Storytime” provides local authors an opportunity to connect and share their stories with youth in the community. It will continue throughout the summer.

So far, three authors have visited children in the LPL system: Bette Jo Sibley, author of “When Mr. Roy Ran the School,” Michal Verrett, author of “How High How Far,” and Wallsten.

During her visit, Wallsten read from her children’s book, “The Advenures of Shiko & Walter,” which tells the story of Walter, a wise decaying water oak tree, and his longtime friend Shiko, a feisty tree sprite.

In the program, Wallsten explained to youth in attendance how she drew inspiration for the story from her own backyard at her home in downtown Hammond.

The Livingston Parish Library has two remaining authors scheduled to visit branches this month: Arianna Trammell, author of “Couillon the Crawfish” (10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, at the Watson Branch) and Wendy Woods, author of “Yo-Heaux, Indigeaux!” (10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26, at the South Branch).

For more information on Author’s Storytime, please visit

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