ST. LOUIS • On Saturday afternoon, four drag queens walked into Central Library to lead story time for a boisterous group of toddlers and parents who packed a large room in the library.
The library’s first-ever drag queen story time was an opportunity to show children about the importance of diversity and inclusion, said Jen Hatton, spokeswoman for the library.
The playful event featured readers with stage names of Helena Handbag, Desiré Declyne, Maxi Glamour and Celeste Covington.
In full faces of makeup, highlighting contoured cheekbones, lush lashes and bright lips, each read aloud a traditional children’s picture book of their choosing, including “The Wheels on the Bus” and “Giraffes Can’t Dance.”
The drag queens called on the children seated in front to participate, but they also sprinkled in funny one-liners for the parents.
And when reading about a clumsy giraffe, Declyne said, “That looked like me my first time in heels.”
Following the end of story time, children filed out to decorate their own crowns made of paper, and many waited for pictures with the special guests.
Meg Hensley, who was there with her young family, said the event was a lot of fun.
“We’re a queer family,” Hensley said. “It’s good to see people who are different and like us.”
Declyne has been waiting for the chance to participate in a drag queen story time event since seeing friends perform elsewhere, including New York City.
Declyne hopes the event shows children that it’s OK to express themselves.
“Find what you love and go at it full force,” Declyne said. “I get to play dress-up for a living. and it’s a dream come true.”
Samantha Liss • 314-340-8017
@samanthann on Twitter