HOUSTON – In a toddler’s day there is no bigger time than story time, and to them the person who leads it is a superstar.
Judy Larson is beloved by kids and parents alike.
“She just has them all in the palm of her hand, listening and smiling and happy and doing the motions when they can,” Toddler Time attendee Debbie Lovell said.
“When we miss a Thursday it’s like missing the whole week, ya know,” said Dawn Baranowski, another Toddler Time attendee.
“Ms. Judy has just been wonderful," fellow Toddler Time attendee Grace Berk said.
She’s been a staple of the Maud Marks Library in Katy for the last two decades and she knows how important the early years of life are.
“This is the foundation for lifetime learners and lovers of books,” Larson said.
In fact, over the years she’s single-handedly created about half of all the children’s programs at the library.
“The infant time we started in 2000 and the Toddler Time we started in ’99. Then a couple of years ago we started a preschool explorers class, which is a sensory awareness class with preschoolers. Then we also started a STEM program on Wednesday afternoons for school-aged kids,” Larson said.
However, like even the best of books, her time at Maud Marks must come to an end.
Thursday was Larson’s final Toddler Time before she retires next week. It’s a moment she’s taking to heart.
“The smiles of the kids, the hugging, the coming up, looking out and seeing their faces and I’m going to miss that a lot,” she said.
“I’m sure they’ll have someone wonderful replace her but she will be missed,” said Toddler Time attendee Tami McGhee, who started coming to the event 13 years ago with her own kids.
When asked about her retirement plans, Larson said she intends to spend more time with her grandchildren and then take the rest as it comes.
Her final day at Maud Marks is set for May 26.