Leo Lionni and Eric Carle and Tomie dePaola. Magic School Bus, Clifford, Kevin Henkes and Helen Lester. Counting, money, and other stories that can be turned into math problem-solving activities. Non-fiction ocean/fish books. Other non-fiction, but not ocean/fish books. Fairy Tales in this one. Books good for the first weeks of school, including friendship books. Holidays here. And these three baskets have general fiction, including Ayay’s favorites by Robert Munsch, like The Paper Bag Princess. Did you get all that?
F nods his head. He’s the one who asked for the book basket tutorial.
My collection of books was once organized by author/genre/topic with labeled stickers and corresponding baskets. That was when I taught first grade. Now the books are still in specific baskets, though more jumbled as I’ve had to downsize from 6 large classroom bookshelves to just 4 single shelves in our current playroom. Still, they are organized in my head and F was smart enough to have me walk through the organizational system with him, for I can sense a misplaced book even before I walk into the room! I asked him if I should label the baskets, but I suppose he didn’t want the house to look too much like a primary classroom.
I unburied my classroom collection just 2 months ago, and my hope was that Ayay, and eventually Tingting, would enjoy the plethora of books available at their fingertips. I was wrong. Ayay doesn’t just enjoy the books. Ayay LOVES the collection. She eats, breathes, whines and cries for these books.
Ayay’s days and nights revolve around these books. At 5:15am most mornings, Ayay announces to the world, “I’m awake!!!!” She then tumbles out of bed, thumps straight to the bookshelves, picks out at least 5 books and brings them to me. “Mommy, can you read me some books?” she asks groggily and with sleep still in her eyes. And so it begins.
Books at preschool, books before and after nap, books before bedtime, and books all the hours in between. You’ll even find Ayay toting some books with her to enjoy during car rides. Perhaps when she is of legal driving age, she will follow in her Tita Malia’s footsteps and read in the car while her car is stopped at red lights. Hmm, I probably shouldn’t encourage that, but if she’s in the middle of the Twilight Saga like her Tita Malia was, there’s no telling what she’ll do to keep on reading! (And if you have been following my last few posts, you know that I would encourage the reading of the saga, anytime, anywhere.)
I should be grateful for Ayay’s love of books. What more can I ask for as a parent and a teacher but for my child to develop a love of reading very early on in her life? And I am, in fact, grateful for this passion she possesses. But I am also grateful for my collection of books on tape. I can pop those in when my voice gets hoarse after 8 hours of read aloud.