Sunday, August 16, 2009
What Happens in Storytime Stays in Storytime!
Does the word “storytime” conjure up happy memories for you? Are you lucky enough to remember the warm feeling of being in the library, surrounded by smiling children and hundreds and hundreds of books? Maybe you were nestled in your mother’s lap. Or maybe you were feeling brave enough to venture a few feet away to sit with children you didn’t even know. Do you remember the “library lady”, with her warm smile and sing-song voice? Do you remember how she held the book to the side while she read, showing you the pictures and at the same time somehow managing to read the words? Did you practice reading to your stuffed animals at home, trying to hold the book at just the right angle?
Now, I don’t want to burst your bubble, however, as an author I visit lots of storytimes. I’d like to add a few new scenarios to your memories – some scenes that are only within the reader’s line of vision. There are storytime “happenings” that you just might have missed. For instance, just yesterday, while I was reading one of my fairy books, a man and his son were actually on the floor having a wrestling match over a toy truck that the child just wanted to hold onto while he listened to the story. Sadly, papa said “no!” Then there were the 2 little girls who spent the entire hour hitting each other over the head with plastic flowers that they had brought from home. Add to that the two nannies who I spotted sound asleep in the front row while their little charges wandered aimlessly around the room. Oh yes, and there was also an entire pre-school class who came to storytime, proudly carrying the fairy wands they had just made in class. Wands were waving, kids were being poked, and all I could hear was my mother’s voice in my head saying, “Stop that before you poke someone’s eyes out!” And, it’s funny how there always seems to be at least one “Cheerio Kid” at each storytime because after each event, the floor is always dotted with crushed cereal.
I hope you don’t get me wrong. I love reading to children. I love the look in their eyes as they imagine the world they are hearing about. The view from the front of the room just adds character and excitement to each event.
Please continue to support storytimes at your local library.