CAMANCHE — Camanche Public Library will launch its summer reading program Monday. The theme, A Universe of Stories, marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, Library Director Anna Evans said.

Some of the activities planned for the summer reading program are space themed, and prizes include alien monster figures and squishy brains, Children's Librarian Keri Kudelka said.

Each year the Camanche library attracts between 125 and 150 children, Evans said.

About 85% of summer readers at the library come from Camanche, said Kudelka, but others come from DeWitt and Clinton.

The program last through August 2 and is open to children from preschool through 12th grade. Children report how many minutes they read each week and receive rewards. Grand prizes will be awarded for readers with the most minutes in each age group: scooters, a karaoke machine and a drone.

The prizes were supplied by the Friends of the Library, Evans said.

High school students have a different summer reading program which awards prizes through scratch tickets. "That age, it's really hard to get them to just walk in the door," Kudelka said.

Summer reading favorites will return this year, Evans said. Clinton County Conservation will visit the library for storytime June 19 at 11:15 a.m. "The kids still love to see the snake and the toads."

The LumberKings will read to children Wednesday. They usually sign autographs and play catch with the children as well, Evans said.

Camanche Fire comes every year for the Summer Splash. They'll be at the library Monday, July 8 with their fire hose.

The University of Iowa will bring its insect zoo, Evans said. The library has hosted the university before, but this will be the first time for the insect zoo. "We are really excited about this one."

Every Monday guests will visit summer readers at the library. On the calendar are Free Spirit Yoga, The Discovery Center, Lyons Tae Kwon Do, dancing with Karlee Low, the train museum and the Clinton Humane Society.

Tuesday will be craft day at the library. Children will make galaxy bottles, alien slime and tie-dye T-shirts.

Guests will read to children every Wednesday. "The Wonky Donkey" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26, when a real pony, Stinky Pete, will visit,

Monday's launch party is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Children can sign up for the summer reading program, play games and try some Cookie Dough to Go.

A native of Centerville, Winona comes to the Clinton Herald after writing for the Ottumwa Courier for two years.