Several other moms and I recently volunteered to read (in a weekly rotation) to preschoolers during Story Time at our local public library. While my motives are partly altruistic, I also hope to learn something that I can put to use writing.
I know I'm going to have fun getting current on picture books, for one thing. My youngest child is 17, so the pb's I know about are oldies but goodies: Goodnight, Moon; Marvin K. Mooney; The Cat in the Hat; Where the Wild Things Are.
For another thing, I want to watch the children's reactions. Some I can predict, like relief at the end of Teenie-Tiny, when she yells, "Take 'em!" But I wonder if boys react the same way my daughters did to "Goodnight, nobody! Goodnight mush!" or "Marvin K. Mooney, will you please GO NOW?" (I doubt it.)
Today, I attended Story Time strictly as a visitor. After the reading of I'm a Little Teapot, which felt more "poured out" than "steamed up," I took a seat in the chair that today's reader had vacated in order to help the children with their coloring activity.
I hadn't settled in well before Brantley, the only boy, brought Thomas, the Tank Engine and asked me to read it to him. Then the girls began to filter in, bringing Rugratz, Winnie the Pooh, and various titles they pulled at random out of the School Bus Full of Picture Books. I had them waiting in line to hear me read their books! Hmm. I must be some kind of child magnet.
Then it dawned on me.
Never sit in the reader's chair if you're not prepared to read!