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The Reading Window

From November 5-22, 2016, the Petaluma Copperfield's Books children's display window is transformed into a magical kid's treehouse and, each evening (Monday - Saturday, 6-8:30pm), live reader-performer/s read out loud to stuffed animals and passersby. A sound system conveys sound to the sidewalk. 

For more on this project, that involved 70 community participants and surprised passersby, scroll the 57 photos above, or read "How a Petaluma Artist Made Window Shopping a Literary Event", by Daedalus Howell, in The Argus Courier.

"The evening was magic. Everyone who stopped to engage came away in joy.


All ages: particularly a little 2, 3 yr. old enchanted boy who ran to the reduced book cart, plopped himself in front of the window on the sidewalk & began leafing/ reading through the tome he had grabbed. He did this several times along with putting his little finger on the window not believing that he couldn’t touch... I know he’ll dream the dream of an idea that will carry him in his life.  He made his family play for a good half hour!


All ages, though, stopped & interacted.  Such a powerful way to be together.  This feels so totally underscored by the aftermath of the election.


So in gratitude,

[Performer] Diana [Marto]"  



Creator: Antonia Kao

Copperfield's Touchstones: Patty Norman, Matt Brown

Fellow Brainstormers/ Support: HJ Stevenson, Kory Vanderpool, Blaine McClish, Treja McClish, Aryeh Nielsen

Treehouse Painters: St. Vincent High School Art Angels & Art Students Lauren Brierley, Jacinta Svilvasy, McKenna Wilson-Kay, Rebecca Robles, Marelyn Carreno, Siana Jiminez, Grace Hosbein, under the mentorship of Marla Pedersen

Butterfly Artist: Emily Robinson

Parade Painting Artist: Alissa Kaplan

Prop and Equipment Donors: Kristi Quint & Jack, Emily Betts, Lindsey Ladd, Spring Teijeiro, Paulina Telderer, Jenny Roberts, Megan Walls Berka, Susie McGavin, Kao-Nielsen Family



Sat. 11/5 

Antonia Kao (18+) reading Shel Silverstein & Anja (7) (Guardian: A. Nielsen) reading Dr. Seuss


Mon. 11/7 

Ellie Kristensen (18+) reading a selection of Caldecott Award winners

Tues. 11/8 

Patricia Souza (18+) , Wayne Pellow (18+), Bernice Fowler (18+) reading bilingual storybooks, and Twas the Night Before Christmas

Wed. 11/9 

Lily Oehm (17) (Guardian: H. Oehm) reading a selection, including Robert Munsch books, with Anja (7) (Guardian: A. Kao). Brief interlude of Antonia Kao (18+) reading books by Anna Kang & Christopher Weyant [You are (Not) Small, That's (Not) Mine, Can I Tell You a Secret?]

Thurs. 11/10 

Megan Berka (18+), Derek Berka (18+), Noa (7), Enzo (8), & Arlo (4) (Guardians: M. & D. Berka) reading and listening to a selection of books, including Harry Potter and Where the Sidewalk Ends

Fri. 11/11 

Treja McClish (18+) & Antonia Kao (18+) reading Alice in Wonderland

Sat. 11/12 

Lori Brooke (18+), Jacoba Charles (18+), Maisie Rose (19 months) (Guardian: J. Charles) reading ecclectic collection, including Where The Wild Things Are

Mon. 11/14 

Diana Marto (18+) reading a selection, including What Do You Do With An Idea?

Tues. 11/15 

Soneile Hymn (18+), reading Duck Duck Goose, The Butter Battle Book, Infinity and Me, Sleepless Beauty, Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride, & Ramona (9) (Guardian: S. Hymn) reading a selection, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Wed. 11/16 

Beverly Alexander (18) reading a selection, including The Dancing Man by Ruth Bornstein. Stephanie N Van Hook (18+), reading her book Gandhi Searches for Truth: A Practical Biography for Children around 7pm, with Cecelia Jean (6) & Andreas (9) (Guardians: Megin Hallinan & Andy Morris), Cash (5) (Guardians: Amy & Katie Evans-Reber), and Bella (4 3/4) (Guardian: Isabel Melara)

Thurs. 11/17   

Kiera (8) (Guardian S. McGavin) and Glenn (9) (Guardian: P. Brassington) reading fairytales and joke/riddle books 6-6:30pm.  Susie McGavin (18+) reading cat books


Fri. 11/18 

Amy Malaise (18+) reading some picture books, but primarily from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone, with cameo by Aidan (8) (Guardian: A. Malaise)

Sat. 11/19 

Staci Stern (18+) reading a selection, with cameo by Louis (6) and Juliette (4) (Guardian: S. Stern)

Mon. 11/21 

Katie Svienson (18+) reading books on kindness, with Frances (8) and June (6) (Guardians: K. & L. Svienson). Dylan Bartley (18+) reading Sweet Wishes and a selection from Copperfield's in sign language from 7-7:30pm, with Chrystal Sparkles (18+) & River (3) (Guardian: D. Bartley & C. Sparkles)

Tues. 11/22 

Sharon Cooper (18+), reading her book Gymnastics Day with Silly Sammy to Anja (7) (Guardian: A. Kao), Tonia McCallum (18+), Emma (10), Liam (7), and Mason McDonald (11) (Guardian: T. McCallum) reading a selection, including Jenny and the Cat Club

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