Pound Ridge Library Takes Kids on a Photo Safari

POUND RIDGE, N.Y – Kids and animals – they’re a natural match.

If you needed any proof all you had to do is stop by the Pound Ridge Library Thursday afternoon and watch local photographer Ann Hermann lead a cadre of youngsters  through her program, “Seek and Find Safari Fun.”

The program coincides with Hermann’s photo exhibit that’s currently on the display at the library. Entitled, “Safari: A Rare Look at the Endangered Animals of Africa,” the exhibit features photos that Hermann took while traveling for two weeks through Kenya and Tanzania where she photographed everything from elephants to water buffaloes to rhinos and lions.

On Friday, it was the kids’ opportunity to learn about the animals – not just what they look like, but how they live and the fact that many of them are endangered. Hermann knew that young children learn best by playing, so she devised a game to engage the kids with the photographs. She asked them a series of questions about the photos, such as “Find the picture of the elephants with the black frame. Do you know why the elephants are picking up their trunks?”

The kids would then scramble to find the picture and answer the question.

“It’s a way for the children to really look at [the photos] and see what’s going on there,” Hermann said. “It gives them an opportunity to hear a little about the actual animals.”

The game led to Hermann revealing some of the animals secrets, such as why zebras have stripes. It’s because it helps them to blend together when traveling in large groups so they appear to be a big blur to predators, rather than a bunch of individual animals.

Five-year-old Amina Fiks of Pound Ridge said she really enjoyed the program and has decided what her favorite animal is.

“I like the elephant,” she said, “because they make a really big sound.”

Amina’s mom, Elizabeth, learned how Hermann took the photos (most were taken from the safe confines of a Range Rover with a large telephoto lens) and said the exhibit would interest her husband, who dabbles in photography.

“He’d be so jealous,” she said. “These are great pictures.”

Hermann’s exhibit will continue through March 17 in the library’s Schaffner Gallery during regular library hours.

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