Children love them. They’re fresh, they’re new, they’re colourful. If kids had their way, they’d have a million of them.
You guessed it books, glorious books! (that was way too easy...)
The stack of order forms arrive at the classroom door, the “magazine” as they call it. As all the kids know each handout is special because their name is printed on it, they start milling about, asking, “Is that my name? Is that one mine?"
Once they’ve successfully spelled out the 'word' at the top right corner, off they go, into a corner, to pour over the tiny, vibrantly coloured thumbnail-sized pictures of all the books they get to choose from.
They’re now engaged in full-blown, enthusiastic conversations about their favourites and whether they’ve seen the movie and if they already have that one at home.
It is wonderful to see children’s excitement and interest in one of the most valuable learning tools ever made, so it’s always a bit disconcerting to see what appears to be a blatant disregard in the "hey, how 'bout we try and preserve these treasured pages?" department.
They stand on them, slide on them, lie on them, play on them, and sometimes tear the pages. And the strange thing is they don’t seem to be bothered by this.
As in yesterday’s post, I think again it’s a case of helping children understand what’s acceptable! It's really no different than their toys, it's just too bad that authentic books aren't as durably made (I say 'authentic' because of course the iPad, etc. stands up to kids' unheeding wear and tear, but somehow a cold, shiny, digital slice of technology doesn't have quite the same appeal as opening up a warm word window full of enchanted forests, rivers, magic potions, kings, queens, princes/ses and pixie dust).
Our taking time to show proper handling of books may seem unnecessary, but the odd chat certainly wouldn't hurt just in case (you can never be too sure about this adventuresome clan wearing primrose pinafores and grass-stained shorts...) ending off with a coupla questions about what not to do – where should we keep books? Is it ok to leave them on the floor... stand on them, or pull at them if two people want the same one? Even if the expected answers are signed, sealed and delivered intelligently, without hesitation, at least they know that you know that Ms. Sweekcrank and you are expecting nothing less (until the end of time).
Yes, an overly dramatic spin on the '2¢er' today, but it's one that just may help all of those worshipped classics in our collections stay pristinely intact for another 5,516 years.
Image courtesy of olovedog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net