Thursday, May 20, 2010

Goodbye Dolphins!

These are the wonderful children I've been reading stories to for the past 4 months. They are an amazing bunch, and I've felt privileged to be able to join their imaginative ranks every week.

Even though we spend only a half hour together per week, it didn't take long before a bond had been created. Without even intending it we had somehow snuck into each others hearts. I was particularly enamored with Ruby, the little girl in the blue shirt.

Her intellect, as young as it is (4 years old!), would constantly amaze me. Ruby would often chime in with astute observations, frequently displaying a very sophisticated sense of humor. For example, once I was reading a book about the different kinds of boats - sail boats, fishing boats, freighters, etc... When I got to the ferry boat, I asked the children if they knew what a ferry boat carried. Of course I was looking for the correct and boring answer: people & cars. But Ruby shouted, "Fairies!", then broke out laughing, as if she knew she was being funny. Of course it was funny... and brilliant.

Another time I was reading a simple book repeating a simple pattern. First the seed, then the flower. First the caterpillar, then the butterfly. First the egg, then the chicken. "No!" interrupted Ruby, thoughtful frustration all over her face, "First the chicken!"

I've been presenting storytimes for almost two years, and I've learned an important lesson about writing books for children. You can't talk down or slip anything past them. Their minds are active and observant. Far more than their adult counterparts.

Today was my last day presenting storytime to the Dolphins. It was hard to say goodbye. They gave me a handmade "Thank You" card and I brought my camera. I'll miss you guys!

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