The Bushnell-Sage Library in Sheffield is welcoming visitors to its backyard for a new story walk.

The lawn is covered with signs displaying the pages of "The Colors of Us" by Karen Katz. 

Children’s program coordinator Caitlin Hotaling says she chose the book to encourage families to talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion.

“The daughter is asking how to paint browns and other colors that her friends are, and they go through the story of her," Hoatling said. "At the end you basically have this huge brownish rainbow of skin tones that are not just creamy vanilla.”

She added, “If you haven’t already, start a conversation with your young ones, because it starts early, and sadly this community is not immune.”

This is the first story walk the library has hosted. Hotaling says the pandemic provided the perfect opportunity.

“I’ve wanted to do one for a few years. It just never seemed like the right time because there’s always so much going on to compete with us, our little library down here and I wanted to think of things the kids outside safely with families," Hotaling said.

With children away from school since March, Hotaling says making sure kids keep reading and learning over the summer is more important than ever.

“The more people who are reading aloud to a child in a family, the better. So grandparents, caregivers of any kind, parents, aunts, uncles, anybody, friends, you know, just coming outside and reading aloud," Hotaling said.

The story walk will run through July 28, and there are plans to replace it with a new one in mid-August.