The headline may sound a bit misleading. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Kippy wasn’t actually gone – he simply relocated for a while.
Over on YouTube, Mr. Kippy continued his storytime reading, uploading (often times hilarious) videos of him reading books and acting out skits for students missing his presence in the classroom and in county libraries.
“It was crazy because right away, before things really, really shut down, I was thinking ‘Oh, this is going to be bad’,” Kippy said. “So I called to KEDT and asked them if I could use a studio for an afternoon, and I had one of (Del Mar College) students volunteer to film things.”
After recording more than 20 storytime videos, he ran into an issue.
Yes, he had filmed all the videos, but when Del Mar shut down, there was no one to edit them.
Eventually he did begin to receive the edited videos but ran into yet another issue. How would he tell students about the videos?
“I was going out on my unicycle every day trying to get as many people’s attention as I could with a sign and a tuba,” he laughed. “I even traveled to Ingleside, Aransas Pass and Gregory all in one day.
“I did that for a while.
“Sometimes I would ride near the schools, and there wouldn’t be any kids in the cars, just middle-aged people staring at me.”
He said when he was off camera he passed the pandemic just as everyone else essentially did – he just stayed home.
Of course, he didn’t stay idle.
Kippy took the time to write another musical play, this one involving the fairy tale about Rumpelstiltskin.
“I started to write that because I looked at the characters in that fairy tale, and there is nobody that is pleasant or good or makes any good decisions,” he said. “I just thought about a play where every character was awful and said I think I could make something out of that.”
When school started back up, Kippy would head over to the schools and stand in the doorway to surprise the students who were more than glad to see him since the kids, and teachers, were stuck together in their classrooms all day long.
While he isn’t sure when storytime at the county libraries will begin again due to some not opening yet or some opening with limited attendance, he is planning to record the summer storytime videos and uploading them to his channel, which can be found by simply searching for Mr. Kippy on YouTube.
But the real reason the title says he’s returning is because his cartoons will once again grace the pages of this publication informing readers of his upcoming storytime read.