RUMFORD — A retired elementary school librarian read from a series of children’s books Wednesday night at the Public Library.

Brenda Sassi, who retired in 2000, was introduced to the audience by resident Anne Wood, who described Sassi as “an avid reader and a book club enthusiast.”

Sassi was all smiles throughout the reading as she explained how children’s books can have an appeal to teenagers and adults.

“These books become more special over time,” Sassi said. “Every book has something to offer. Look for it.”

The audience nodded and smiled in recognition as Sassi read from such books as “The Little Engine That Could” and Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”  She said she’s found that adults appreciate the lessons in these books as much as they did when they were children.

Sassi read from classic and contemporary children’s books to prove they all offer an important lesson, despite what generation they came from. She read from President Barack Obama’s book “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.” She said it is a book about loving your family that anybody can enjoy, regardless of political beliefs.

Sassi explained that she finds a simplicity in children’s books that aren’t found in books being written for young children and teenagers now. She jokingly described “The Hunger Games” as “too violent for me,” and she didn’t see the appeal of the “‘Shades of Blue’ book everyone is reading,” referencing “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the popular series by E.J. James.

Sassi ended the reading with a recitation of “The Circus Ship” by Maine author Chris Van Dusen. She described it as “her favorite children’s book right now, until I find another one.”

Sassi adopted different voices for different characters, speaking quietly to build suspense and using a booming voice if the story required it.

As the book came to an end, the audience collectively said, “Aww!” to which Sassi smiled and said, “See! I knew you were all kids at heart.”

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