Steve Chaney and his puppet Cornelius Crow launched the Linden Tree Books Summer 2014 Concert Series last week in downtown Los Altos. The pair performed for approximately 50 children and parents gathered in a reading room at the back of the store.
With the aid of “Corny Crow” and two other puppets, ventriloquist Chaney engaged the audience – primarily comprising 4- to 6-year-olds – with songs, animal noises, juggling and jokes for 30 minutes.
“I liked seeing the kids laugh a lot,” parent Ming Hui said.
The performance was the first of nine free weekly shows scheduled at Linden Tree, 265 State St. Performances are slated 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 13.
Event Manager Dee Ellman said Linden Tree is the “heart of Los Altos” and that the concert series is a way to connect with the community. Although admission is free, Ellman encourages attendees to donate a book to benefit Reading Partners, the local literacy organization that matches one-on-one tutors with students who have fallen behind in reading.
“Part of Linden Tree is its world of reading and developing imagination, and Reading Partners helps that mission,” Ellman said.
Ellman added that her favorite part of the concert series is “seeing all the kids that come and the big charge they get from the performers.”
• Today: My Song Your Song. A new addition to the series, the group sings a variety of songs, from lullabies to rock ’n’ roll.
• July 2: MaryLee Sunseri. The singer/guitarist performs popular and original songs and interacts with the audience.
• July 9: Mr. Horsefeathers. Steven Koehler, aka Mr. Horsefeathers, performs magic, juggling and comedy.
• July 16: Nancy Cassidy. She performs folk songs, some of them originals, aimed at audiences of all ages.
• July 23: Andy Z. The musician, storyteller and interactive entertainer is known for his high-energy shows.
• July 30: Jump for Joy with Wiley Rankin. He introduces rhythms through song and dance, encouraging children to participate in the show.
• Aug. 6: Snail People. The duo (Mindy Dillard and Eric McEuen) uses a variety of instruments and genres in its performances.
• Aug. 13: Lori & RJ/Cotton Candy Express. New to the series, the group caps the summer slate with a hands-on musical show.
For more information, call 949-3390 or visit lindentreebooks.com and click the “Events” tab.
Linden Tree Books Summer Concert Series: Ventriloquist Steve Chaney - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier