We’re very fortunate to live not to far from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. It is a beautiful museum with a gorgeous art room. My son often plays while I do the art projects. It is very relaxing to make something as complex as a tissue paper collage.
The museum also has a library filled with picture books, of course. When we can, we try to go to the storytime there, which is really one of the best around. Megan Lambert, who runs the library uses the Whole Book Approach, which treats the picture book as a piece of art and that books are meant to be read with children not at them. I tried to absorb as much as I could from Megan before I went to do my first Storytime.
At my first storytime, I had a small group of kids and they were interested in the books I had chosen. Pretty early into the reading, though, a boy sitting right in front of me said, “I can’t see, I can’t see”. I thought I’d invite him to help me hold the book but that didn’t work because he stood right in front of the book and none of his friends could see.
A few weeks ago, I took a workshop with Megan about the Whole Book Method, focusing on Jewish Literature. During a discussion about children’s learning she stated that kids’ minds look at the pictures and then need to catch up with what it being read to them. She stated that when a child says I can’t see, what they are really saying is “Slow Down”. She explained that this is why kids often ask to read a book again. They need to hear it one more time to get it.
I had an Aha!! moment in the workshop. Slowing Down is something I need to work on everyday. For those who don’t know me I am a fast talker. Many times my brain and mouth have different plans. My son now corrects me when I use the wrong word for something. I also find myself walking too fast. Why do I need to have a brisk pace to the grocery store with my son following behind? Why don’t I just enjoy the walk with him? In terms of storytime, I need…to…speak..slower. The kids have come to storytime because they want to hear me speak. They want to enjoy the story and I need to share it with them.
Any storytelling tips are greatly appreciated.