Jewish Journal

Summers at Skirball

by Julie Gruenbaum Fax

July 20, 2010 | 6:27 pm

On a recent afternoon at the Skirball Cultural Center in the Sepulveda Pass, a little girl with a big red bow in her hair sat in a photo booth at the end of the “Monsters and Miracles” exhibit, printing out a souvenir bookmark.

“She heard we were coming to the museum and wanted to dress fancy,” her mother said.

The museum, it turns out, is a destination for kids this summer.

“Monsters and Miracles: A Journey Through Jewish Picture Books” offers a look at Jewish culture through the lens of the storybook. Headphones with celebrity recorded readings, shelves of books and interactive activities keep the kids enthralled while adults enjoy the original artwork of Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, Uri Shulevitz, and Margret and H.A. Rey.

“Monsters and Miracles” closes Aug. 1, but the Noah’s Ark permanent installation remains a strong draw for kids with its menagerie of animals made of repurposed materials, climbing structures, and dozens of cranks, handles and pumps for kids to activate.

The Drop-In Art Studio, open during museum hours through Sept. 5, has baskets full of yarn, fabric and colorful fasteners that kids can use to create burlap books or fanciful creatures.

Saturday and Sunday afternoons through Labor Day weekend, the Skirball hosts family-oriented performances at its amphitheater, including Aaron Nigel Smith from PBS’ “Between the Lions”; circus arts performers Kinetic Theory; family dance and drum circles; and the music and dance of Africa, China, Japan and Micronesia.

For information, visit skirball.org.

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