WARR ACRES — Alyssa Dean, 2, was reluctant to take a set of bells Tuesday and join a group of children at the front of a conference room at Warr Acres Library. Award-winning children’s entertainer Jim Cosgrove, more popularly known as Mr. Stinky Feet, was assembling a band of children to help perform his song "Buggy Hop.” About 60 children and parents packed into the meeting room at the library for a concert with Cosgrove. He returned to Oklahoma to give three performances at libraries this week after performing for packed audiences last summer. Children started bobbing up and down as soon as Cosgrove, dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, tennis shoes and a baseball cap, started singing a series of hellos to greet them. His energy and silliness seemed contagious. Soon children were dancing in an open area at the front of the room, and many parents joined them by waving their arms, rocking their bodies or pumping their fists from their positions on the floor. Alyssa often marches around to music at home with her grandmother, but she wasn’t sure about performing in front of the crowd, her grandmother said. But as soon as the song started, Alyssa wanted to join in. She tried to share an instrument with her sister, Kendra, who was shaking to the music. Kelly Biel brought her 3-year-old son, Vance, and her nephew, Roman, to the performance. At first Vance was skeptical about performing with the band, too, but Biel encouraged him and he ended up having a great time. "We’ll definitely come back next time,” Biel said. Christy Blue joined her 4-year-old daughter and 3-year-old twins, who danced as Cosgrove sang humorous songs about stinky feet and dinosaurs wearing underwear. "It was a great time,” Blue said. "I couldn’t help tapping along, too.” Cosgrove’s concert was infused with valuable lessons such as not littering, not making fun of people and being patient with adults. At the end of Cosgrove’s performance, Alyssa and Kendra both were clapping their hands and chiming in from the front row of the audience. Their golden pigtails flopped up and down as they jumped with the music during a song about peanut butter. Their grandmother, Sandy Dean, laughed and clapped from her seat. "I think it’s really important that they learn some rhythm and learn to express themselves,” Dean said.
What’s nextJim Cosgrove will be back to visit Oklahoma City-area libraries this summer.