If the words "read me a story" send you into a panic, take the Tempe Youth Library up on its offer to read to your brood, free of charge. The Book Baby Program (12 to 24 months) meets at 9:20 a.m., and 2- and 3-year-olds meet at 10:20 a.m., both on Mondays through March 1 (except January 19, February 2 and February 16). For 3- to 6-year-olds, there is an evening story time, 7 p.m. Wednesdays through March 3. If your moppet is into nature or science, he or she can attend the Nature Detective Book Club on Thursday, January 15 (the topic will be bats), or February 19's discussion of lizards. This story, craft and discovery time requires registration, but there is no fee. All events take place at the Tempe Youth Library, located at the southwest corner of Rural and Southern in Tempe. For information or to register, call 480-350-5522. - Quetta Carpenter
The Phoenix Zoo brings in a few friends
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Catch a tail spin this Saturday, January 17, when Phoenix Zoo specialist Susan Gerros shares "Animal Tails" at Tempe's Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock. The 11 a.m. presentation packs some lively visual aids: a gopher snake, a burrowing owl, scorpions and other desert darlings. Call 480-730-0205 for details. - Jill Koch
Young artists paint pets
Don't mean a thing if they ain't got that string. Tempe artist Lennée Eller (pictured) leads a "Puppet Tails" workshop this Saturday, January 17, at Mesa's Arizona Museum for Youth, 35 North Robson. From 1 to 3 p.m., aspiring artists 8 and older make mixed-media pets and decorate a puppet stage. Call 480-644-2467 to register. - Jill Koch