Books, Laughter, Friends, and Winn-Dixie 8:33 AM

For my daughter’s 9th birthday (which was last Christmas) we elected to have a spring fling at the rock wall climbing gym. In lieu of gifts, girls brought a wrapped copy of their favorite paperback book.
The girls sat in a large circle on the floor. Each held a brightly wrapped copy of a favorite and enjoyed book.
Nonna began to read the “Left/Right” story. As she read, the girls listened carefully. They passed right when they heard the word “right/write” and left when they heard “left.” They giggled as they heard their names included in the tailored version of the story. When the story ended, they excitedly tore into their gift…
“I’ve read this one.”
“I got this one!”
“Can we trade?”
Books moved from hand to hand as some traded and others watched -- each book finding a wonderful home with an excited child.
One child did not offer her book for trade. She looked at the title of the book. She put the book back in the gift bag. The gift bag remained held tightly in her hand throughout the remainder of the party. She wanted to keep that book.
I noted the bag in her hand, its bright spring flowers caught my eye as I had attempted to find the perfect presentation for my daughter’s all time favorite paperback – Because of Winn-Dixie.
Knowing the book held within the bag, I asked “Do you have that book?”
“Have you read it?”
“It is an amazing book. I am sure you will enjoy it.”
I smiled to myself as we left the party. The girls had fun. They each received a new book to read that another of their friends loved. I was not walking out the door with armfuls of toys and games that would now be sharing my home…Mostly, I love the idea of sharing good books. The idea that some of these girls might be reading books previously unread or unknown…
And that Winn-Dixie would touch another heart and bring laughter to another child…

1 Thoughts:

Becky said...

This is a great idea for birthday parties, or any such party. It avoids "give me" and celebrates something we teachers, and kids, appreciate....the gift of reading.