for the little ones...and the big ones.
Story telling for mothers and very small ones and story telling for pre-schoolers and mothers and...story telling for those adults who still find themselves hooked by a good picture book.
"Just watch this Cat," one of the librarians whispered to me as I came in yesterday. I watched. We have done this before but it always delights both of us. There were the pre-schoolers wriggling into their favourite comfortable places for a story. Their mothers collapse into the middle size chairs behind them. (I believe you can collapse into anything for a few minutes if you are the mother of a child that age.)
Then, ever so casually, there is a slow migration from the other end of the library. One adult wanders apparently casually down to use the catalogue terminal at the children's end. Another suddenly has reason to be looking at the returned books shelf. A third goes to the junior bookshelves, a fourth goes to the teen section. Gradually, when they believe nobody is really looking, they settle in to listen.
It is soon clear why. The girl who is reading this morning is a professional. The children, of all ages, are soon engrossed. The story is a good one.
I have never felt the need to hide my joy in good picture books. I love the way pictures and words complement each other in the best of them. I have no concerns at all at being found in "that end" of the library. Some adults are more hesitant. I sometimes think there should be storytelling for adults or, at very least, "grown up children welcome".
The library is quieter than usual. Most people are listening. There is "Once upon a time...."
and then there is "And they lived happily ever after." In between there is the magic.