Author Eric Carle has illustrated more than 70 books with his hand-painted collage imagery. His whimsical tales of the animal world are read by millions of children worldwide. With the help of a black light and puppets based on Carle's illustrations, Very Eric Carle brings three of these stories -- Little Cloud, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, and The Very Busy Spider -- to the stage. "With many of my books, I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school," says Carle. "School is a strange and new place for a child. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun." Bring your little (or not-so-little) ones to see these beloved books brought to magical life, at 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday, September 28, at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Tickets -- $19 for adults, $15 for children -- can be purchased by visiting www.scottsdalearts.org or calling 480-994-ARTS. - Quetta Carpenter
KRC does Friday right
Party Central has a new address, and it's right here in the Valley: 6111 South All America Way in Tempe. The Kiwanis Recreation Center marks the spot, and Friday night is when it all goes down. Offered almost every week through December 19, Friday Nite's Main Event provides 9- to 14-year-olds with a night out -- and parents with a night off. From 7 to 11 p.m., participants welcome the weekend with karaoke, DJ music, dance contests, basketball tournaments, body art, concessions, and occasional special events like wave pool parties and outdoor volleyball games.
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After parents fill out a short registration form and pay $8, the kids are good to go. For more information, call 480-699-0163 or see www.tempe.gov/pkrec/krc.- Jill Koch
The Spying Game
Junior sleuths congregate in Glendale
Sneaky teens ages 12 to 18 can bond with other secret agents at Glendale Public Library's "Ultimate Spy Teen Takeover," from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, September 27. Operatives assemble for a briefing, plus pizza and soda, and then it's spy vs. spy, as they gather intelligence, crack codes and steal secrets from other teams. Participants will communicate with fellow spooks nonverbally, just like foreign agents. And the best part: playing "Spyramid" to win prizes (yeah, other than democracy and global preeminence). Dress as a Man in Black, or come as you are -- incognito. Our surveillance reveals Glendale's main library operating at 5959 West Brown, just south of Peoria Avenue, in the free world. To register, call the library's Youth Department at 623-930-3537. - Kim Toms