We’re used to doing books in this house. Whether it’s working in libraries or compiling libraries of our own or assigning piles of them to our students, I thought we knew books. But the kids are putting their own spin on things. Katherine asked me to take her to the public library because she’d run out of history books to read, and, wow, there’s no way I could afford to keep her in books on my own. I worried that Nathaniel would not have the same enthusiasm, since he can’t yet read on his own, I don’t sit down with him as much as I should, and Katherine, though willing, can’t always read to him. But after I let him wander around for a bit, he found a book on machines in space, one on Thomas the Tank Engine, and several on spiders, science, and puppies. He’s now just as enthusiastic as she is. The reading time they do in his kindergarten class is helping to reinforce the message.
The public library staff make things easy. When we arrived this afternoon, they encouraged us to join a book group: read at home to your kid, enjoy knowing that hundreds of other families are reading that same book, and get together for a party at the end. They even gave us a copy of the book, Peter Pan, which I haven’t read with the kids. Score! They also had an “I spy” game with bugs and bird nests in one part of the library, and the kids got to bring home Dr. Seuss notebooks after they finished the game. Now I’ve sentenced the kids to two hours of “quiet time” as we transition out of nap time in our house, and both ran off to settle in with books as soon as lunch was over.