READING TO THE LITTLE ONES


The Wake Forest Library was packed with little ones there for story time when I went in this morning to drop off the old audio book and pick up a new one. Made me remember reading to my own children and all the times I’ve thought that by doing so I did my bit in encouraging them to read.

I should have snapped a few photos at the library. The lttle people were everywhere; sitting, crawling, running. Story time had just ended and picking out books time was having an energetic beginning.

The scene also made me remember when I did story time back in the 90’s as one of the privileges of being president of the Friends of the Wake Forest Library. What a treat it was to sit down in front of all those bright eyes!

I began by rehearsing at home behind a closed door, especially if the story called for a few different voices. Ham that I am, I almost always picked stories that required different voices. Arriving at the library a bit early so I could say hello to the moms, dads, grandmoms, granddads, and the children, I was always surprised by how many children would say hello right back, without any prompting. When my two sons and two daughters were little, three of them were very shy. My youngest was always ready with a speech on most any subject if you encouraged him even a little.

The reading would begin with children sitting on the floor or on someone’s lap, and my sitting on a seat that was so low I had to stretch my legs out in front of me to avoid having my knees in front of my face. I’d read a little and turn the book around so they could see the illustrations.

For the first few minutes the children stayed as still as any preschoolers would, but then one or two would get up and wander over to look over my shoulder as I read. Then two or three more would gather around. By the time I got to page five I was in a sea of children and loving every minute. The kids always rewarded me with a few laughs when I did my more outrageous characters’ voices.

As I went on my way I thought about the parents I had just seen, and I wondered if any of them were in the crowd of little people that surrounded me back then…..

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