Friday, October 30, 2009

The Power of a Good Story

I spent the morning in the Little Ballerina's Kindergarten class helping out with the Fall Frolic which is secret code for Halloween party minus the costumes. Halloween is strictly taboo these days in the public school sector lest we all be branded heathens and witches.

The party celebration consisted of fun learning centers all with a Halloween theme. Taking full advantage of the fact that I've "been there done that" with my Big Ballerina, I scoped out the centers and raced for the one that most interested me....the picture books.

I recognized a few of the books, one being a great read aloud, but decided to try the ones I didn't know. I tried out 3 different titles on 3 separate groups, but they just couldn't compete with the other centers. The stories were sweet, but they were lacking that extra something, that "IT" factor, that makes them stand out from the rest. Even with my Little Ballerina's endorsement when her group arrived (That's my mom. She's a REALLY great reader!), these books weren't cutting it. After the first few pages I found myself reading to the backs of heads looking longingly over at the next center where they would drop ghosts and sort spiders.

Refusing to give up my belief that a good story is just as captivating as floating or sinking pumpkins, I picked up the tried and true picture book, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, and began to read. Sure enough, it wasn't long before I had my young charges clomping, clapping and wiggling along with me. We were having a ball and now the other groups were peering over at our table to see what fun they were missing. 

The timer rang signaling it was time to move on to the next center. My group looked over at their teacher with sad faces. "Can't we stayyyyy?" they begged. Mrs. Rose turned to me and said, "They're mesmerized!"

YES! Sweet victory! 

My chest puffed out a bit and visions of being crowned the next StoryQueen danced in my head. When I came back down to earth, I knew it wasn't ME that had captured their attention. It was the power of a good story. 

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