Practice what you preach

So, I broke my own rule, again.  I’m doing my bedtime storyhour, using the funny new book Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes to do a color-themed program. I decide to use the storytime big book copy of Mouse Paint along with it. You know the one–three white mice who jump into jars of what they think is “mouse paint”.

Meanwhile, a colleague who has asked to sit in on my storytime slips into the room and sits at the back. Okay, fine–it makes me a little nervous but I HAVE BEEN DOING STORYTIME FOR 25+ YEARS! IT WILL BE FINE! Except for I broke my rule about checking the particular copy of the book I am using before reading it. And this time, the two middle pages are completely pulled out. Of course this is also the night I have decided to do without the big book stand because I don’t like the way it gets between me and the kids, so I am physically grappling with this giant copy of a book that is losing its pages.

But I am a pro, so I carry on valiantly reading and hoping that the book hasn’t lost any pages altogether. The kids are into it. In fact, little Yasmeen is chanting “purple, purple, purple, purple” as I read. So I read along as the little yellow mouse steps into the puddle of blue paint, and I turn the page expecting to see the purple puddle of paint that Yasmeen has been talking about…only the puddle isn’t purple, it’s green. Oh no! Has the book lost a couple of pages? Go back, check again…ah, it was the yellow mouse and the blue paint, duh. Yasmeen was just cheering on her favorite color, apparently, or else the color-mixing book was an excellent choice for her.

But I wouldn’t have been thrown off if the book hadn’t fallen apart, and if I had followed my own rule and checked it first, the book wouldn’t have fallen apart. And then the storytime ran short, because color books are invariably very short, so there we are…not the best storytime for the new librarian to observe, except in a cautionary tale sort of way.

This week’s storytime is going to be GREAT. The books will be in perfect condition, nothing will fluster me, and it will all time out exactly right.  You’ll see.

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