Once the children were settled, she pulled out her first book, one I had never heard before. I held my breath as she told the kids the author was from Ireland. She immediately followed up with a Saint Patrick's Day connection and my kids nodded. The story was about a young boy who ate books. My kids sat entranced as she read, shared the pictures, and then paraphrased each page as she made her way through the book. She smiled when kids burst out with comments. She stopped when they felt a need to connect. She laughed when they laughed. I exhaled.
A second book was pulled from her bag and she asked, "May I read another one?" I nodded and smiled. The kids clapped. She prepared the kids for the rich language living between the covers of the book by front loading them with the words and their meanings. She gave an overview about what was going to happen. This book was about a young girl who was blowing bubbles. Her baby sister got caught up in a bubble and floated away. Although the book was filled with unknown vocabulary and wild character names, my kids followed the journey and squealed with delight. They made predictions about the outcome and she encouraged them to do so.
Another book was pulled from the bag...(one she had found in our library while waiting to read).This woman is a treasure. She understands what a good read aloud is all about. Her love for books is infectious. She had my class mesmerized for thirty minutes and this is not an easy class. She challenged them intellectually and entertained them at the same time.
This is the fourth year I have participated in "Community Read Aloud". Each year I have been delighted with the books chosen by the reader, the delivery of the literature, and the commitment of the people coming into my classroom. Thank you Success by Six for sponsoring such a worth while event. Thank you Sue, for taking the time to show my students your love of reading and inspiring them to continue to read.