I cannot remember the last time I bought myself a new book, or even stood perusing the shelves at the library, looking for my next treasure. My trips to the library are now spent primarily in the children’s section, where we pick a handful of books, convincing my three year old that no, we are not getting a Barbie movie for movie night, and lastly running past the new fiction section where I grab three or four books that look interesting based on the blur of the cover as I chase after a toddler with a hungry baby. I’ll have time to read the flaps at home and see if any of them sound interesting. It’s like playing the book lottery, so far with minimal success. But despite my failed attempts, this works wonders in the children’s department, so I’m not ready to give up on my strategy just yet.
On most visits, I push the stroller into the mural-covered room with a general idea of what to get based on which author has a new book out, which title I read about, a book that was previewed at school, etc. But my daughter wants nothing to do with my input, no surprise there. Instead she randomly pulls books from the shelf, not even bothering to give the cover a look, and throws them in the bottom of our stroller. These are the books we are taking home no matter how much I pitch an alternative. And you know what? We have found some real gems this way. Don’t get me wrong, it has also led us to some utter fails, but it has also provided a variety that perhaps even my guidance wouldn’t have given her. This week alone I’ve become an expert on hayrides, autumn, and bats. And If I’ve learned a thing or two, you can imagine that the sponge that exists between her ears has, as well.
So the next time you are looking for a book, have a little faith, and approach it like a three year old. You might just be surprised with what you find.
I’ve been anxious for a while about my first blog entry. Should I write about how Declan pulled out Press Here and screamed so loud at the part where he had to tap the page 5 times, or about how I got to meet the very funny and inspiring Maggie Beadie Roberts, co-author of DIY Literacy. Nope, instead I’m taking advice from a seasoned blogger, Pernille Ripp, who I chatted with at a tech conference this summer. Her advice was to write from your heart and what matters to me. And at this moment what matters is my two co-blogger authors, Courtney and Ashley. They both started as professional friends, which quickly turned into personal friends. We used to see each other on a daily basis as we taught in the same school, but now Courtney moved to a different school and I moved to a different state. It is nice to know that every few days we text or email to check in. But one of the special parts of our relationship centers around literacy. We are all elementary teachers and have a passion for finding the best kids lit out there. I was so excited to text Ashley the moment I read The Thank You Book, wow, what an ending! (Get all elephant and piggie books if you haven’t already). Also, my Instagram notifications go off each day with Ashley’s post about her two sons’ book interactions. I smile at their cuteness and often write the titles down to read to Declan. This year, Courtney and I both taught 3rd grade. During the school year, I would text her for advice or offer mine. “What’s your next read aloud?” or “I just finished Fenway and Hattie, you should read that to your kids!”. On the flip side, I was the first person Courtney texted when she got to meet and chat with Oliver Jeffers. He’s quite a celebrity in our book (and cute too). So as I go on and on about Ashley and Courtney I want them to know that I value our friendship, but having the same passion of kid lit together has continued to drive my engine to find out more, read more, and share more! I hope if you are reading this that you will enjoy this journey the three of us are taking together.