Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Library Fine

The little girls came to play today.

When it was time to go and the toys were put away, I said, "As soon as the dress-ups are all cleaned up, I have a surprise for you."

Rustling and bustling, seven mini-maids stuffed purses, scarves, hats and jewelry back in the trunks and rushed to sit in an expectant circle. "What is it?" "What are we getting, Oma?"

I told them the surprise was that they could each pick a book from Oma's Library and check it out. The bookplate would remind them to bring it back, and when they did, they'd get to choose another book to take home.

They cheered and clapped—it was almost like Christmas! (Actually it was like Christmas; they get a book then, too.)

Chloƫ suddenly looked apprehensive. "When is it due?" "Whenever you want," I answered. "Is there a fine?" she asked. "No," I said, "there's no fine."

Relief spread over her face, and she jumped up in excitement. "Mom! Mom! There's no fine!"

You may have tangible wealth untold:
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
But richer than I you can never be—
I had a mother who read to me.
---Strickland Gillilan

A librarian by the name of Orville Prescott once said, "Few children learn to love books by themselves. Someone has to lure them into the wonderful world of the written word: someone has to show them the way."

That seems like a fine job for an Oma.


Liz said...

I agree, what could be better than to open up that world of reading for a little one!! Reading to my grandsons (and having them 'read' to me!) is one of my favorite things.

Bev said...

my grandmother not only read to me, but recited poetry at every opportunity ---- any wonder that I was bored by Dick and Jane in first grade?

I did love the written word, and used books to take me to wonderful places through out my teen years when I needed to escape.

and I firmly believe that if you can read you can teach yourself just about anything!

Christie said...

I used to do this with my grandma, too! I LOVED it. Every time we were at her house, I'd 'check out' one of her Nancy Drews. Read it three or four times, and then bring it back and swap it the next time. I have such fond memories of that. I'm so glad you're doing it, too. I only wish we lived close enough to join in.

gramakas said...

How fun! and teaching them responsibility at the same time!

gab said...

Plus you actually LIKE children. Rare at my library.

Kay Dennison said...

Everyone read to me when I was small. My mother used to tell me fairy tales to keep me from crying when she washed my long golden blonde curls. (Goldilocks was a favorite) I read to the Dynamic Duo constantly. My daughter-in-law read to my grandsons while she was pregnant for them. They love books.

diane said...

This is a brilliant idea. I will be copying this when I am a Gramma. My kids have a Great Aunt who takes them to the bookstore each time we visit. I love that.

Michelle said...

OK, I officially want to be YOU when I grow up.