I’m a huge fan of parents reading with their children – and that’s an understatement. As far as I’m concerned, it’s essential, right up there with food, clothing, and love. I’m also a fan of book clubs. I cherish the discoveries, conversations and the friendships I’ve made over books in the group I’ve belonged to for many years.
So I read with interest about “Mommy and Me” (or “Daddy and Me”) book clubs. Blogger, mom, and former kindergarten teacher Danielle Scribner writes about the preschool book club she organized and participates in at http://preschoolbookclub.blogspot.com/. It’s a great idea and I love seeing parents and children having so much fun with books and each other. It’s a win-win situation all around: children gain literacy and social skills, while parents enjoy time with their children and other adults.
It reminds me of my years leading pre-school story times as a public librarian. What a joy, introducing young children (and their parents) to stories and books! We had a wonderful time creating crafts and doing activities to extend the stories. Children browsed the bins and shelves of books and were excited to take home their new discoveries each week. Parents swapped child-rearing advice and encouraged each other through childhood stages and illnesses. Over time, friendships and bonds were formed that extended beyond the library.
If you think about it, public libraries all across the country, from big cities to tiny towns, are already providing preschool book clubs – week after week, year after year. Library Story Time is free and usually staffed by enthusiastic professionals or dedicated volunteers. Recently, for example, I received an e-mail from the Anchorage (Alaska) Municipal Library, announcing their upcoming activities. Lapsits, songs, crafts, special events – it’s all happening at the library.
So I say “hooray” for preschool book clubs, whether at home or at the library. Or even better, both.