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Libraries offer free theater shows for children
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Stanislaus County Libraries are looking to help parents keep children busy during the — sometimes too long — winter break. There will be three free events held next week in Modesto, Turlock and Salida.

To begin the week’s merriment, the actors of SWEET Theater will perform their modern retelling of the Brothers Grimm classic “Hansel and Gretel” at the Modesto Library. Volunteers from the audience will have the opportunity to participate in the production and help the characters of the story. There will be two shows, at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Free tickets are required and are available from the Children’s Department one hour before each show. For more information, contact the Modesto Library Children’s Department at 558-7810.

The Puppet Art Theater will present “Three Billy Goats Gruff” on Dec. 29 at the Turlock Library. This program will combine wit, humor and audience participation that is sure to please all in attendance. There will be two shows, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. For more information, contact the Turlock Library at 664-8100.

Finally, the Fratello Marionettes will delight the audience with three classic stories from Aesop and Hans Christian Anderson in “Carnival of the Animals” on Dec. 30 at the Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library. The Fratello Marionettes produce high-quality marionette shows using the cabaret style of manipulation. For more information, contact the Salida Regional Library at 543-7353.