Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mystery Reader

So we did indeed fly to Indiana last Thursday night, the boy and I. While we were gone, S went to Tampa one day and Phoenix one day and did some great work around the house in between. I chose to take the 8pm night flight that I used to take before the boy was traveling with me. I thought perhaps he would sleep on the plane. He did NOT sleep on the plane, but he wasn't horrible either. Actually - a funny story - on the way on the plane, this grandmotherly figure told me he was "darling," to which he looked straight at her before I could answer and said, "Thank you!" So cute. Anyway - on the plane, the first hour he watched videos - what did parents do before videos on airplanes, God bless 'em - and the second half he was wiggly but not too horrible. We made it there in one piece, where he said "HI!" to Nana and went to sleep before we were off airport property. (He was actually very excited to see Nana, as you can imagine, after their time together while we were in Europe.)


On Friday, I had the distinct pleasure of being a Mystery Reader to my niece Cora's class. Each week, the class has a Mystery Reader - a guest - that comes to class to read a book or two. They get clues about the reader and try to guess who that person might be. 


Before they made it back to class, Terri and I stopped in to say hello to Veda and Deacon. Deacon was going out to recess, and Veda was at lunch. Terri brought brownies in for her to share with her class, since her birthday was on Monday and they would be on a school trip. It was fun to see all my nieces and nephews at their school. 


When Cora's class came back in from recess, the teacher gave the children the clues about their mystery reader while we waited in the classroom. This time, no one guessed. Some clues were vague, like I had glasses and I had a son. Other clues said I had two nieces and a nephew at that school, and that I lived outside of the state of Indiana. Terri thought Cora might figure it out, but she was surprised with the rest of her class to see me waiting for her in the classroom.


All the students gathered around and they asked me a few questions about where I live. They were very intrigued what life might be like in the faraway land of Texas. I answered questions about the recent tornados, about whether cactus grew here, whether there were lots of snakes, and whether I could speak, "Texan". I gave them my best "Y'ALL" for that one.


I searched, a few weeks back, for books that might be appropriate to read to her class. I mean, all my recent children's literature was not going to hold up to a 2nd grade critique! I was pretty sure they were over hearing "Brown Bear Brown Bear, what do you see?" or "Goodnight Moon." I bought a few on Amazon and had them shipped to my house for review. I figured I would just keep them around for LM to enjoy in a year or two. I found several I liked, and one LM already wants me to read over and over (I want my hat back!) I found a couple I really liked, but was pretty sure I couldn't get through without tearing up, so those were out. (Like Grandpa Green) I searched for award winners to begin with, so I felt I would get a good crop to choose from. And I did - it was hard to choose!


So cute of Cora - I think I was taking the rattlesnake question here...


In the end, I chose two books to read - the first one was, "NEVILLE!" by Norton Juster. It is a story about a boy who moves to a new town and how he inadvertently finds himself a whole passle of new friends. Very sweet. As you will see, I attempted to read upside down for this book - toward the end my eyes were so confused it was getting difficult to finish the book!


The second book I read was, "Children Make Terrible Pets" by Peter Brown. This is a story about a bear who finds a child in the forest and wants to keep him as a pet, and what ensues when her mother agrees for her to do just that. Very cute. The illustration in the book is a "vintage" look, making the book look old, but it was actually released in 2010. 


The children seemed to enjoy the books I chose, and I really enjoyed getting to surprise Cora and read to her class. As you can tell, I enjoyed preparing for my moment as a reader as well. It was great fun. I'm so glad I was able to be a mystery reader!

See you soon.

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