Victoria Wyeth made a guest appearance at the Kennett Library Saturday, reading “Treasure Island” to a group of children. The copy of the book she read from was one illustrated by her great-grandfather, N.C. Wyeth,
Wyeth said she always loved books and loved working with and reading to children. This also gave her an opportunity to help out library. She said she got involved at the suggestion of a friend.
“One of my best friends, Lynn Wachman, of Chadds Ford, has always been a huge lover of the Kennett Library. She asked if I would team up with her and help the library. I had a meeting with this gentleman [from the library board] and he said they wanted to do a pirate theme for a fundraiser. And then he asked if I would come read to kids,” she said.
The attachment to reading “Treasure Island” is also special for her. She said she read it to a special ed student while she was student teaching in college and mentioned that to her grandfather, Andy Wyeth,
“He wrote me a letter and said, ‘Dear Victoria, I’m so happy you’re reading Treasure Island to this young man. I remember my father reading that to me when I was a young boy, sitting on his lap and hearing all the stories about the pirates.’”
She continued by commenting on the strength of the prose and how the classics, even the children’s classics were written before the days of television, Internet and video games.
“Robert Louis Stevenson was sucking the kids into the scenes and you can literally imagine the pirates running with cutlasses and blood all over the place. I thought it would be fun,” she said.
Wyeth went on to talk about the value libraries still have, even with the Internet, TV and video games.
“Libraries play a crucial role. Reading is important and libraries are a safe place for kids to go on vacation. At home, they might not have air-conditioning or heat, but here they do,” she said.
Library Director Megan Walters thanked Wyeth for being generous with her time and said she would also be the guest speaker at the library’s pirate-themed fundraiser in October.
Walters said Saturday’s reading was a “kids’ version” of the talk Wyeth will give the adults later this year.
There is also talk about Wyeth coming back to do a Halloween reading for kids, and maybe making a reading visit every few months after that.