Tuesday 15th of February 2011 08:42 AM
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
Well, I hope Maya is right. I'm not sure she was talking about a book about Taylor Swift.
Maybe a book by Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver's Travels. (Their hair is similar, don't you think?)
But a book about a teenybopper country and pop icon? That might be a stretch.
Still, noted American autobiographer and poet Maya Angelou says "any book" so we'll hope my book fair purchase for my adopted "grandchild" helps develop that habit of reading.
I spent part of my day in the Stafford Schools library yesterday where I was a volunteer for Grandparent Day. If a real grandparent or family member wasn't there to spend time with a student, we volunteers stepped in to listen to them read, share a cookie and visit the book fair.
It is never a hardship to spend my day surrounded by books or children. And I got a dose of both.
Yes, it was Valentine's Day, but my first grade charge, Laura, chose to read a Christmas book. And that was just fine with me.
But I will have you know that I am not a pushover in this grandparenting thing. On our visit to the school book fair, Laura was enticed by a basketball pen and a calculator that looked like a Hershey bar and other junk ... I mean lovely merchandise.
I was willing to fork over a little dough for a book. But I wasn't springing for the equivalent of a prize found in a McDonald's Happy Meal.
I led her over to the Easy Readers. I had my eye on these titles:
She had her eye on all things teenybopper.
"It's not exactly Tip and Mitten, is it?" my friend, Debbie, lamented as she perused books with her real-life grandson.
Nope. It's not Dick and Jane either.
Laura had gotten the book about Justin Bieber on a previous trip to the book fair. So we added to her library of biographies of people who haven't been on this planet for a quarter of a century.
It's better than an exploding pen, isn't it?
My next charge was third grader, Alex, who read to me from the book, Bad Kitty Gets a Bath.
I told him that my husband would have loved that book since we have a whole farmyard full of cats. We have not, however, tried to bathe any of them, which is a good thing, according to the book.
Alex chose a science book from the book fair. And, I have to admit, it wasn't so hard to part with my cash for that book selection.
But whether it's a science book or even a book about Taylor Swift, I hope my adopted grandchildren develop a love of reading. When I was a third grader - just like Alex - I read 166 books. I have the certificate to prove it.
To celebrate my reading achievement, I got a book called Best Friend from my teacher, Mrs. Hemphill.
Other award books I got during my grade school years were Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses and a collection of Aesop's Fables. One summer, I read the most books in the summer reading program at the Pratt Public Library and got to attend the Peace Treaty at Medicine Lodge.
Reading was my favorite pastime then ... and now.
Let's just say I didn't collect any math awards.