I’m inheriting two programs as the new children’s librarian – a weekly toddler storytime, and a monthly bookgroup for ages ten and up. I had a sort of trial run for storytime this week, filling in for someone on vacation. It was actually one of the preschool storytimes, but still – it warmed up my muscles. I did a fish theme and read Fish is Fish, Clara and Asha, and Fish Eyes, along with a flannelboard version of The Fish with the Deep Sea Smile. It all went over swimmingly (haha) and I was delightfully surprised to see how entranced the kids were by Clara and Asha, which I’d worried was better suited to a cozier setting and fewer children. But they lapped it up – and according to one of the other librarians, they even squealed at a few points. I read Fish is Fish first, since it was longest and I was worried about attention spans. Fish Eyes was great towards the end, because I didn’t have to worry about losing the threads of a story as they interrupted and crowded around to point out their favorite fish. Have I mentioned that I love reading aloud? I’ll have my regular storytime starting in October, when our next cycle starts up.
The book group is a more challenging crowd. They don’t squeal. I’m taking over starting in September, so I sat in on this month’s discussion. There were five kids, and I’m terrible at guessing ages but they looked like a range from ten to fourteen or so. It had been free choice month, so they each talked about some of the best things they read over the summer – everything from Harriet the Spy to Specials. I loved hearing their reactions to things. For September, the librarian currently running the show booktalked three titles and then opened the floor for nominations, and then they voted for their top three choices.
Eragon won out by one point over Shakespeare’s Secret, so it looks like I’ll finally have to tackle that dreaded title. The boy who nominated it was super excited, since he’s been trying to get the group to read it for ages but is always outvoted. Me? I tried to listen to the audio version a few years ago and didn’t even make it through a whole cassette. The way I figure it is that I’ll either give up partway and run next month’s discussion blind, or it will be so terribly bad that I’ll get a good laugh and make it through. The one-star reviews on Goodreads are making me think it could go either way. How much am I willing to suffer for the bookgroup? Stay tuned – I’ve got until the 15th.