The Rock Island Public Library’s Hug A Book program series will offer a special early learning art event  this Thursday for ages five and under.

Hug-A-Book, Make Some Art offers a story and several related art projects designed for children ages to five. The free event is at 6:00 pm on Thursday, Aug. 31 at Rock Island Downtown Library, 401 19th Street, in the second-floor Community Room. Each child receives a free book and an art apron, courtesy of the Merrill Harris Fund of the Rock Island Public Library Foundation.

The Hug-A-Book event  serves as the preview for a new art monthly program for ages five and under, Petite Picassos. Petite Picasso events encourage preschoolers to use all their senses to learn with a hands-on art project and story. Petite Picassos events will be offered at 10:30 am on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at the Rock Island 30/31 Library, Wednesday, Sept. 20 at the Rock Island Southwest Library, and Friday, Sept. 29 at the Downtown Library Children’s Room. The monthly art program replaces one storytime per week at each library location. Petite Picasso events are free and registration is not required.

The Hug A Book program has grown from one annual event to a series of events offered throughout the year, thanks to support by the Merrill Harris fund of the Rock Island Public Library Foundation. The next Hug-A-Book event, Construction (Play) Zone, is Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 5:30 pm, also at the Downtown Library.

For more information about Rock Island Library hours, services and programs, visit the library’s online branch at, call 309-732-READ, or follow the library on Facebook or Twitter.


Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.