You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You

A child huffed to me that he wasn’t interested in a picture book story with dinosaur characters.

They were colored purple and orange and green, some wore stripes or polka dots. And they cavorted on the cover.  I had been assigned to read this book with him.

So I opened the book to the middle.

And I asked him what was going on.

On the spot the child spinned a wild story of the dino images on that double spread.

Following my excited response to his imagination, I wondered aloud what the dinos had done before in the book. He said he didn’t know. I asked him if he wanted to find out. He did.

Reading the best books to young eyes is what you want to do if you love reading and kids. And especially if you want to write children’s books.  Guess what – kids don’t have enough folks reading books to them. It’s a win-win-win.

After registering with the volunteer coordinator you might attach yourself to places that are kid zones, such as public schools,  kid museums and youth art programs. I spent a sunny Saturday standing on my feet at an annual Children’s Day in our town.  Although a couple of my books were bought in the site’s gift shop because I was there, I actually was pushing free blank pieces of paper at my table.

The paper was cardstock, from my old but clean manila file folders.

I scissored the cardstock, hole punched it, provided a hangtag, and rubber stamps.  One was a picture of an alligator. (This relates to our state, Florida, and also to my award-winning picture book biography.  One of the things about the amazing real woman in my story, Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, is that she wrestled alligators.)

Two young kids said they didn’t know what a bookmark was.  And so on the spot, they made one.

I glowed when  child said, without a question from me, “Books are my favorite things!” Several children wanted to make bookmarks to take to older siblings. And one made a bookmark for her grandma. Another young reader blurted, “I’ve written a book – it’s about me. Do you want to hear about it?”

And of course – I did, I did!


2 thoughts on “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! I experience this at my informal “Front Porch Library” all the time. One of my favorite moments was when Zion threw himself against a wall and groaned, “I love this library!” Even the oldest of my kids quickly falls under the spell of a picture book as long as the reader “does the voices.” Lovely post Jan!


    • Word on the street is the the Front Porch Library may be informal, but it’s toally “in” , cool & better at times than school!
      Brava! to the Front Porch Library Gang. May there always be much more such special moments at your Front Porch. Thank you for sharing Adrian.


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