By Juhi Varma
The Malden Public Library played host to some very interesting and unusual guests last Wednesday; these included “Cricket the Toucan,” “Mango the Macaw” (who can crack a Brazil nut with his beak), “Frodo the giant toad,” and “Scooch the Coatimundi.” The Friends of the Malden Public Library sponsored a “Creature Teachers” workshop, a live animal program featuring some uncommon and fascinating rainforest creatures. Children gathered in the library’s Maccario Room and listened attentively as presenter Rick Roth introduced the animals one by one.
Roth brought eight different creatures: a coatimundi, a macaw, a red-eyed tree frog, a collared aracari toucan, a green tree python, a common boa constrictor, a tarantula, and a giant toad with extremely poisonous glands. Roth spoke about the four different layers that make up a rainforest—the emergent layer, the canopy layer, the understory layer, and the forest floor. He went on to explain that each creature occupied a different layer in the rainforest.
Roth eventually called for volunteers and allowed the children to hold some of the creatures.