Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Story Time should be Story Tme at the Library

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Ours is designed for littlies from about the age of two. I take my smallest grandson, normally a voluble speaker and singer. He has just turned two, but at storytime, he is completely mute, eyes wide, taking everything in but giving me no opportunity to brag about his advanced vocabulary. He sits on my lap, eyeing all the children but not appearing to participate at all. On the way home in the car, I hear immaculate renderings from the backseat re "Insy winsy spider" and the whole gamut of nursery rhymes that were sung that morning. Sadly, today's mothers don't seem to have been indoctrinated with nursery rhymes but thank goodness for grandmothers - and for storytime.  Our librarians do their best to keep up the tradition, recognizing the importance of both rhyme and music in child development. I've done my best to pass on all I learnt at my mother's knee (it seems my own daughter by-passed some of my lessons, but, to my great chagrin she is tone-deaf and can't sing anyway). Still, I've noticed that all my grandchildren can hold a tune and I am most grateful for that. I have one area of concern: our marvelous librarian is retiring next month and her next in line regards 'storytime' as an opportunity to teach as opposed to simply letting the children exercise their imaginations which is to me the definition of 'storytime'.  We have a lot of wonderful books in our children's library but last week the one chosen was a dreary book about re-cycling. It was dead boring. I watched the little ones getting restless and I felt really sorry.  Surely it's time enough to teach the children how to save the planet when they start school, circa age 5-6. It's not necessary at 2 -4.  When I was at Primary School we had a terrific Welsh male teacher who used to read us a chapter from "Kind Solomon's Mines" last lesson, every day.  We sat enthralled. In the last month when I was teaching High School and before I went on pregnancy leave, I played a BBC radio version of "Lord of the Rings" to all my 13-year-olds.  They sat in silence. You could have heard a pin drop.  The voices and special effects were amazing. What do you think


  1. I think children should have the opportunity to be children. Recycling! Next week will be carbon tax? Macroeconomics?

    Story time should be story time and they should be rich stories with heroes and villains and magical lessons in good and evil. There will be plenty for hard reality in the future.

    1. Can you believe there are such idiots about as 'Anonymous' below? Polluting my page !

    2. He got Olga and I as well. We both deleted it.

  2. Stories should feed the imagination. If the natives get restless, it it NOT a good story time.