The children’s staff has a rotating schedule that includes one or two Saturdays a month. As a result, I do not lead the Dads and Donuts storytime as often as I would like. I love this storytime. It meets once a month on the 2nd Saturday of the month at 10:30 am. Families with young children are invited to join us to listen to some fun stories, learn some songs and rhymes, have coffee and donuts and meet other families.
Today we celebrated 2 holidays: Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day.
Chinese New Year, or The Spring Festival, began on Monday, Feb. 8. Since it lasts 15 days, we are in the middle of the celebration. I read My First Chinese New Year, because it is a simple overview of the preparations that go into the holiday as well as an explanation of the traditions. It ends with a greeting for the new year. I believe these are the Chinese characters:
There is a difference in pronunciation between the Mandarin “Gong Xi Fa Cai” and the Cantonese “Gung Hay Fat Choy!” Fewer people use the Cantonese greeting now, but the Cantonese greeting is still in many books published in America. It is in this book, copyright 2004. I’m very curious about this and was told the first wave of immigrants to the United States came from Canton and Hong Kong. Books published in English were Cantonese in origin. I would not be sensitive to this difference if patrons hadn’t pointed it out to me in years past. I certainly welcome all this kind of cultural knowledge!
It is the year of the Monkey, so for the 3rd time this week, I read Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett. Many of the children at this storytime knew this book, so they guessed the animals and had fun acting with me.
I chose a Thomas and Friends story for our Valentine’s Day book. The original Thomas stories were written by Rev. W. Awdry, and there are quite a lot of them. Since being on television, other writers have created stories “Based on The Railway Series”. They seldom have the same quality of the originals, but in this case the vocabulary is easy enough for children to read on their own.
The last book I read was Who Said Red? It is an older book that is no longer in our collection but can be requested from other libraries. It was donated for the book sale, and someone brought it to my attention. (I am usually alerted to books in excellent condition and given the option of adding them to the collection. I’ve decided to keep it in our storytime collection.) Red is a lucky color during Chinese New Year and is associated with Valentine’s Day, so it seemed appropriate to this storytime. I used it in conjunction with the song “Are You Wearing Red Today?”.