Parish Library Summer Reading Program Continues with Karen Konnerth and the Calliope Puppets

The Bienville Parish Library 2022 Summer Reading Program continues after a brief pause to observe Juneteenth! Then the “Oceans of Possibilities” steams full ahead with a special performance from New Orleans based author, illustrator, visual arts educator, and puppeteer, Karen Konnerth.

Karen Konnerth and the Calliope Puppets arrive mid-week to kick off the third live performance of the Bienville Parish Library’s 2022 Summer Reading Program, “Oceans of Possibilities”. On Wednesday afternoon, the troupe arrives at the Gibsland Branch!

Wednesday, June 22
Gibsland at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday morning the Calliope Puppets travel down river to arrive at Arcadia Main Library and in the afternoon, they head over to the Ringgold Branch to perform.

Thursday, June 23

Arcadia at 10:00 a.m.
Ringgold at 2:00 p.m.

On Friday, Castor welcomes the marionette troupe in the morning and then Ms. Konnerth, Calliope Kate, and the entire cast arrive at the Saline Branch later that afternoon.

Friday, June 24
Castor at 10:00 a.m.
Saline at 2:00 p.m.

Ms. Konnerth and her puppets bring to the stage a rollicking, new, tall tale as Calliope Kate tames the Mississippi River, rides a giant catfish, and finds her voice in the raucous steamboat calliope!

The performance is adapted from the new picture book, written and illustrated by Konnerth entitled, Calliope Kate and the Voice of the River. The book tells the story of Kate’s family flatboat adventures downriver to New Orleans. Kate’s Ma fails to tame her to lady-like piano playing, with Kate instead using the ear splitting din of a steamboat calliope to save the city from a hurricane. Illustrations feature hand carved Czech marionettes created by the author.

Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Konnerth’s background as a regional and world traveling professional puppeteer became the foundation for her visual storytelling through writing and illustration for children as well as her specialization in arts integrated teaching. She has shared her classroom experience developing and implementing arts integrated projects with educators at the National Art Education Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and for the U.S. Embassy English Language Specialist Program in Central America, Asia, the Middle East, and South Africa.


Did you know historians can predate some form of puppetry as early as 2000 BC! Puppets or stringed puppets called “Marionettes” were found in Egyptian tombs and were made of clay and ivory. Some puppets were used to display rituals and ceremonies and later stringed and articulated puppets were used as a form of entertainment for the townspeople or villagers. Live performers, scenery, props, musicians and actors were far too expensive to bring to villages and remote towns, so brightly painted wagons with a miniature theatre was set up, bringing operas, morality plays, comedy acts and even religious reenactments during holidays and special religious feasts with Marionettes or hand puppets as the actors and actresses and even animal Marionettes had acting parts!


Preventing the “summer slide” continues to be the main objective of summer reading programs. This reading incentive gives your reader extra motivation to read and collect all ten tags. It will impress teachers with how many books/pages they read during their summer vacation!

The 2022 Summer Reading Program is designed to help:

  • Children be motivated to read.
  • Children develop positive attitudes about reading, books, and the library.
  • Children maintain their reading skills during summer vacation.
  • Children have access to experiences that further their sense of discovery.
  • Children have access to experiences through which they can learn to work cooperatively.
  • Most of all – HAVE FUN!

See You at the Library!

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