For about the last month, I have been volunteering at my local library. I’ve mostly been straightening shelves, but I’ve also had the pleasure of sitting in on a few storytimes. Last week, the children’s librarian asked me if I’d like to go to one of our local public elementary schools and read Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney. Eager for as much storytime experience as I can get, of course I said yes.
Later I found out that what I thought was a simple storytime was actually part of a nationwide movement by Jumpstart called Read for the Record. Each year, the campaign seeks to break the world’s record by joining together to read the same book on the same day. Past Read for the Record books are The Little Engine That Could (2006), The Story of Ferdinand (2007), Corduroy (2008), The Very Hungry Caterpillar (2009), and The Snowy Day (2010). According to Jumpstart’s website, the campaign has “shone a national spotlight on America’s early education achievement gap and highlighted Jumpstart’s programs as a way to address this crisis.” For more information about Jumpstart and Read for the Record, look here.
I read to two first grade classes and one fifth grade class. It was an absolute blast! Strangely enough, I had never read Llama Llama Red Pajama, although I had heard of it before. It’s an adorable book! It’s time for Baby Llama to go to bed, but he gets very anxious when Mama Llama leaves the room. He tries every way he can think of to get her to come back so that he won’t feel scared. Will Baby Llama ever settle down and get some sleep? The rhymes in this book make it so fun to read; even the fifth graders enjoyed it. I had some extra time at the end, so I also read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems, which I also recommend highly, especially as a read-aloud.
All in all, it was an excellent experience, and it raised my awareness of a very good cause. Win-win!