The day I helped at the book fair

“Calvin’s mom!” “Calvin’s mom!”

My true name was revealed to me when I volunteered at the Scholastic Book Fair at my kids’ school.

“Do you like to read to kids?” asked Herr Hayes, the school librarian. (Remember,it’s a German school.)

He told me to pick out a couple of books before Calvin’s kindergarten class came in. I would read to them and then help them pick out books.

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Kindergartners are squiggly. Calvin and Max with their friend Shalin. (Shalin is in Calvin’s class.)

Reading out loud to my own kids is one thing, but reading to Calvin’s class made me a little nervous.

Luckily, they were an easy audience. Or should I say, a squiggly audience. After they got the “Calvin’s mom!” out of their systems, most of them sat still and listened. (Calvin beamed at me from the front row.) There were a few in the back that couldn’t sit still but most seemed to enjoy my attempt at rousing renditions of Please Mr. Panda by Steve Antony, The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara and Mark Fearing, and The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat.

I made the rookie mistake of letting them get up when I was done but Herr Hayes rushed over and made them sit back down and listen to instructions. I guess 22 kindergartners on the loose isn’t always a good idea.

Here’s what I learned that day: my kids are pretty normal. They aren’t the only ones who squiggle, don’t listen, and tell on each other.

One girl told me a long saga about how her friend said her necklace wasn’t as pretty as hers.

Let’s pick some books, I suggested.

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This book allowed me to impress little kids with my alien sounds. It was a big day!

Once they left, I was a seasoned pro and read to the first graders. I noticed they were quieter and asked more questions. I did hear a bunch of them laughing about a book that had poop in it.

More proof that my kids are normal!

And the next time I visited Calvin’s class, a bunch of the little squigglers ran over and hugged me.

More book info

Steve Antony also wrote one of our favorites, The Queen’s Hat, featured on this very blog. He also has a new book coming out, The Queen’s Handbag.

Beekle is another family favorite and Caldecott winner! Listen to this NPR piece about it.

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot was a great new find and illustrator/writer Mark Fearing illustrated one of out most-loved books, How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans.

7 thoughts on “The day I helped at the book fair

  1. Ha Yeah it’s a little scary at first the idea of reading to kids that aren’t your own, right? I was nervous when I had to do Storytime at JB. Great post and cool books. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep, you captured what it is like to be in the midst of all that squiggly and giggly energy. I especially like the “long saga” the little girl told about her necklace.

    Liked by 1 person

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