Mesmerizing Magic Made My Day

#SOL16 Day 2Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 5.11.16 PM

My slice today is actually several similar slices. You see, it’s Read Across America Day and I have the perfect excuse for doing one of my favorite things in the world: reading aloud to kids.  I found myself invited (or self-invited) into classrooms from kindergarten to sixth grade with books that were both Seussical and non. I’m not sure who enjoyed these read alouds more, but it was a rush!

Wolfie The Bunny

I began with my kindergarten friends. When I introduced a book  as, “one of my very favorite books from a very fun author”, they peppered me with “What is it? What is it?” As I held it up they cried, “He’s not a bunny! He’s a wolf!”  I answered, “I know!  That’s what Dot is trying to tell her family! Let’s see what happens!” They wrapped their blankets around their jammie-clad legs and snuggled up on their pillows while I brought Wolfie to life for them. They sat captivated, their emotions conveyed by an emerging smile or widening eyes. Not a peep except for the invitations for audience participation.

I paused on the last page, letting the message and finality of the story sink in.  And of course, what is the first thing out of most kindergartners mouths after a story?  “Read it again!” I promised I would be back to read this and others, and when I asked them “What would you like to tell Ame Dyckman about her story?” almost all said, “She should write another one!” They wanted Wolfie at Christmas, Wolfie in Summer, Wolfie at  Halloween …basically a Wolfie for all seasons!

In room after room, I experienced such a similar audience captivation. I loved creating voices for characters, and pausing to let images and ideas saturate their minds. And all the while, I doubt that a motion sensor would have been triggered by these stilled listeners.  Between pages, I would look out at their faces and see them transfixed, frozen mid-scene. This is like magic I thought, no…like hypnosis!

I can’t show you the faces (I need to protect their privacy) but I bet you can transpose the sweet countenances of your own cherubs onto these heads. It is the look of enchantment, and the only charm needed was a wonderful book.

So thank you, to Ame Dykman (Wolfie the Bunny), Theodore Geisel (The Lorax), Ryan T. Higgins (Mother Bruce) and Matt De La Pena (Last Stop on Market Street) for sharing your charms.  You helped me mesmerize our students in magical ways and made these slices of my day so memorable!

17 thoughts on “Mesmerizing Magic Made My Day

  1. There is nothing better!! We spent the day in two schools today and were delighted with all the wonderful literacy events going on. Reading aloud to children is simply priceless!

  2. I loved your post and the pictures. You remind me that as a Reading specialist, I really must fit in time to visit classrooms and read aloud. I’ll put that on my agenda for the next few months before I retire. Thank you!

  3. What a lovely way to spend your day! We celebrate Read Across America tomorrow night at our school and while I’m not looking forward to the late night, I am looking forward to the magic of a spellbound group of children, all clad in PJs with stuffies in tow. PS Wolfie the Bunny rocks! I wish I’d thought of that one to read!

  4. What a great celebration of reading, Paula! We just finished reading Fish in a Tree today. I love the question you asked the students about what they would like to tell the author about the book you just read. I think I will do that with my 4th graders tomorrow. Thank you!!

  5. Dr. Seuss Day – one of the things I miss since retirement! There’s nothing like the look of enchantment on those sweet faces. Thanks for giving me the experience through your writing!

    1. I’ll bet you have lots of great memories, Rose! I think when I retire (if?) I would probably have to get myself to the nearest school to celebrate this festive day!

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