Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book Fair-Better Than Working In an Ice Cream Shop

This week, we are hosting a Selections Book Fair at our school. I cannot say enough about the amazing selection of books that they provide for a book fair. And I was able to add several of the titles that kids are currently excited about. The library is filled with kids' favorite characters and authors. It is also filled with new books, ready to be discovered. The excitement is nonstop.

When I first took the job as librarian at an elementary school, Lester Laminack told me that I would love it--that it would be like working in an ice-cream shop and that every day, I would be making people happy. A good comparison, I thought. I think of this chat with Lester often and I was reminded of it again today. The looks on the kids' faces when they enter the book fair are no different than I imagine they would be if they were entering an ice cream shop. They are beside themselves with excitement. I must admit that by 1:00 each day, I am wiped out. 25 excited children every hour for several days in a row and I need some extra caffeine to keep up.

This is the perfect time of the year for a Book Fair. A change of pace and scenery is such fun. Anticipating spring reading is also fun. But I forget my favorite part about book fair. I love listening in on the kids when they shop. I love this week because it gives me a break in routine to really listen in and to notice things that I don't often have time to notice as we rush through 45 minute classes. I notice the ways so many of them are talking about books! I loved that a child who didn't know many books or book characters not too long ago, screams across the library, "Mrs. Sibberson--is this the new Mo Willems book?" when he notices CAT THE CAT. I love watching a child sit on the floor for 35 minutes straight reading the new Babymouse book cover to cover, thrilled to have discovered one she hasn't read and looking up every so often to make sure no one will stop her reading. I love seeing fans of THE LIGHTNING THIEF hover around a new graphic novel about Zeus and looking at the back cover to see that there are more in the series about Greek Mythology. And I love that two older girls found a book they had never heard of (I hadn't either) but previewed together and are now dying to read it. It reminds them of one of their favorite authors and they are anticipating finding another author to love.

There is nothing like the anticipation of reading a great book. I think that is what book fair is about this week. Kids know that whether they buy a book or not, we will get many of these new books for our library.

Really, Lester's thinking about an ice cream shop rang so true today. The thing about ice cream is that it is gone after a few minutes. But a good book? Not so much.


  1. How does the Selections Book Fair compare to a Scholastic Book Fair? From the pictures you took, it seems a lot less commercial (a very good thing).
    I have an update on the librarian job at my school, by the way. I'll email you!

  2. I love that students have so long to browse. When I sit down with banana split I love to slowly savor every bite....and I love the same time to browse new books.

  3. Book Fairs are indeed exciting. Perhaps more so for younger children, but evenn 8th graders apppear to love to browse through the sections--especially those designed for their age groups-or books that were made into movies. I too, love seeing them find a book they really enjoy and will want to read.


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