At the library-
the bane of every bibliopole-
‘Treasures’ are for the taking.
The true value of a book
isn’t physically tangible.
Because of this,
imagination, and aspirations,
Can never be stolen
But rather surrendered by pseudointellectuals.
Our upstate New York town where we camp on weekends, has become a ghost town. We’ve watched it lose many businesses over almost twenty years. Our property taxes are higher on our woodland retreat than at our residence in Massachusetts. We have no town maintained road, sewer, water or electricity there BUT the town has a wonderful little library.
There is always a smiling face behind the desk (some folks volunteer their services) and a sign with upcoming events for families. The children’s area is very inviting and the staff display their weekly recommendations for interesting adult reading too.
My granddaughter will be 7 years old in September. On our most resent visit, she was searching for chapter books. Katherine has reading ability appropriate for her age but a desire to move on to books that offer a better ongoing story. There were few to satisfy this appetite. I also found that she preferred hardcover books to soft-bound. Hardcover books represent a better story in her 6-year-old reasoning.
I’m not at the stage in my “writing for children” adventure to produce such a book. I want to offer this accidentally discovered void in children’s literature to folks who may have been unaware of it and could take advantage. It is a critical time for Kat. She has watched the adults in her life use bookmarks and enjoy stories that unfold. Most importantly, she is deeply interested now. As she becomes a more social kid at the ripe ages of 7 and 8, she may move away from reading for fun.
I remember my own search for a better story, at a similar age. I also remember not being able to find “chapter books” to meet my early needs either. I quickly lost interest and did not return to recreational reading for 20 years.
This is a shout out from a grandmother to those who are looking for a special writing arena yet to be marketed. I believe there’s a consumer group to satisfy with early reader chapter books.
I had my granddaughter staying with me this weekend. We went to the local library and chose a few books for her to enjoy. We sat outdoors on a lovely Saturday and enjoyed the warm sun in the company of books.
My favorite of our choices was “Mrs. Mc Tats and her Houseful of Cats”.
It had rhyming text. THAT always make reading fun. It was also very humorous. THAT also makes reading fun.
The artwork illustrations were very charming and gave the book a lot of character.
Mrs. Mc Tats has a ritual of leaving her cozy cottage each morning to go to market. After choosing something to bring home for dinner, she repeatedly finds new cats scratching at her door. She welcomes them and names them. As the story develops, she ends up with twenty-five cats all with names starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet. The last letter begins the name of a surprise 26th visitor at her door.
Katherine enjoyed the repeated sing-song rhyming and surprises. She especially enjoyed the illustrations. She read it almost all by herself, once she became familiar with the rhythm of the story.
As I read my own books, Kat read hers for much of our afternoon. I could tell that being a “reader” was giving her a lot of pleasure. I recommend Mrs. Mc Tats as a great” interest keeper” and a good beginning book for readers of 6 years old. I also recommend being a reader yourself and inspiring this joy in kids through example.