I just got back from volunteering at the Book Fair at Boo's school. I love working at the Book Fair. First, you get to hear the parents of young children wandering through with their kids, each family speaking in their own language.
Do you think George Monkey might be in here?
I want that train book!
Let's look for one we don't have at home.
Then you get to hang out with the other volunteers, who may not have a lot of experience with volunteer work. They want to organize and divide the work sensibly, which is fine, but I find it amusing when they don't want to step on my turf. "Oh, you're putting stickers on those books? You do that shelf, and I'll do this shelf, then."
Really ladies, the job is to get it done. There will be more to do (and more after that) so go ahead and jump into my shelf. I don't mind at all.
After that, the kids start coming in. At Boo's school, students aren't allowed to bring money when the classes visit the Book Fair. Each child gets a clipboard with a form on it so they can make a wish list. The lists are then sent home to parents. I love watching the younger kids make recommendations to one another. This morning I was working at a table full of LEGO and Star Wars books. Some of the boys were reading jokes to one another out of the joke books.
When the Middle School students arrived, it was a whole different thing. They handled the books with care, always putting them back where they belonged, and of course they used more discrimination in their shopping. And yet, their unfettered joy when finding a favorite author, a book they enjoyed when they were younger, or a funny poster was a pleasure to see and a reminder that they are still children and not yet fully teenagers.
I already bought a pile of nerdy books that I want to have around for Boo's reference as she gets into more complicated writing and learning. This afternoon, I get to take her shopping for keychains and erasers, and maybe she'll even pick out a book or two.
One never knows.
Best week of the year!