Ava Devillis and her child attended story time this afternoon. This is the first time since
that a bathmat could lead a better story time than I could. The two of them sat in their previous place outside the circle and ignored my reading.
Halfway through my inspired reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, her cell phone blowed up, as the kids say.
Ah, justice. Just as I was about to admonish her, however, she stood up and walked out of the library to take her call. It kind of hurts when the enemy is polite.
I continued as the happy catepiller went through his day and noticed that while Ms. Devillis was outside her son kept looking over at our circle. By the time the book had ended, he had crept closer and joined in, clapping when the story came to a close.
I high fived a series of excited toddlers and stood to make my way out of the reading area when I felt a tug at my pants.
I looked down and there was Ava Devillis’s son.
I squatted down to look him right in the eye.
“And what can I do for you, sir?” I said.
He pushed a blonde lock of hair out of his eyes and held out a book to me. I took it and looked at the cover. Curious George Visits the Zoo.
“This is one of my favorites,” I said, “Do you want to check it out?”
He shook his head.
“Can you read it?” he said.
I smiled at him. He smiled back and looked down at the book.
“I like Monkey George,” he said, giving accent to George as though the name were French.
“Me too,” I said, “what’s your name, sir?”
I held out my hand and he took it, giving it one shake.
“I’m Forrest. My momma calls me Monkey.”
“Well, Monkey Forrest , how about we see what Monkey George is up to?”
He smiled, nodding. So I sat back down and began to read with Forrest. He would point out what George was doing, laugh as George trapped himself in cages, and was scared when George got lost.
As we read, I pointed words to him and he would sound them out, each letter one by one. If something stumped him, I would prod just a bit and he would get it. I like these kids. The kids just old enough to be curious but young enough to not know how to be curious. I really liked Forrest as we read about Monkey George getting in trouble at the zoo.
“What color is the man’s hat?” I said.
“Yellow! It’s my favorite color. The man in the hat saves him. He loves Monkey George,” Forrest said.
“Yeah, he does. It’s nice how the man always comes and helps Monkey George, huh?” I said.
“Yeah,” Forrest said.
I looked up to see Ava Devillis staring at us from across the room. I waved her over, wondering why she had not come over sooner. Whatever her reason, she seemed happy. It is amazing how a smile can make someone seem like a better person.
Forrest noticed his mother approaching and grabbed the book from me.
“Momma! Mr. Banned read Monkey George!” he said. I saw other parents looking up from their selections with smiles. Happy children have that effect.
“He did? Did you thank Mr. Banned?” Ms. Devillis said.
Forrest whirled around and looked up at me as I stood.
Thanks, Monkey George
“You are very welcome, Forrest. Come back any time.”
They walked away as I gathered the books the children had begun to spread throughout the area. Forrest chattered to his mother about Monkey George’s adventures in the zoo all the way to the circulation desk.
As they left, Forrest waved at me and yelled a big thank you across the room. I whispered one to him back with my finger over my mouth. He repeated the gesture but continued smiling. His mother mouthed a thank you to me as well, putting a finger over her mouth to mimic her son.
Everyone has bad days. Fact of life. They serve to make the good moments that much better, though. Today was a good day.
Check out more articles on www.bannedlibrary.com Add us on, Facebook, Google+ and @bannedlibrary on Twitter!