Our library has a program each summer to promote library visits and to get books in the hands of children. If a child visit the library four times over the summer, they get to pick out a free book to take home. The librarians keep track of visist with a book mark that gets stamped each time a child comes in.
We love this program. The kids get really excited about picking out their book when it is time. Inevitably, each child never wants whatever book I think they should get. The non-readers pick books that are so simplistic they bore me to death to read (and are probably supposed to be for infants), and the older ones tend to pick books with either a franchise behind them or books we already have. I always try to gently talk them out of their selection, but I let them get what they want in the end (except this year, when I did veto Anne’s choice of Twilight).
This year, everything was about the same. Steven picked a book with five pages, each page with only a number and a corresponding number of objects. So boring! But, he was proud to have his “own book”. Evva picked a book of fairy tales (of which we only have about 5 others at home), and she has yet to open it. Anne picked a pre-teen novel I’d never heard of, but seemed decently boring.
Hythe, however, picked (in my opinion), the best book – The Civil War for Kids. He liked it for the pictures of soldiers and guns. I liked it because I thought it would be interesting for many in the family, and there were activities. And, to be honest, because now if I want to learn about a period of history, I read children’s books on the subject. Quick and easy to understand, they provide a good overview.
So, last night William was reading to Hythe as part of the bedtime routine, and Hythe wanted him to read from his new book. William started reading the Introduction. When he got nearly through, he looked over at Hythe . . . who was crying. “This is too sad. Don’t read any more, Daddy.”
The next day, he asked a few questions about battles and if their might ever be one in Fairview. My boy. Sweet, fun, brave, physical, and compassionate. Learning lessons early, maybe – but it breaks my heart at the same time.