Our Camp day began with a bowl of cereal, washing hands and faces and off to Bookman’s on East Grant Road. For you non-Tucson residents, Bookmans, officially known as Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, is the largest used book retailer based in Arizona. It was founded in 1976 by Bob Oldfather, who is the current president of the company. There are now several Bookman stores selling high quality used books, sporting goods, musical instruments – you name it. This particular location has a kid’s Friday morning StoryTime session. They call it StoryTime, but it is so much more. Off we go!
These kids love books. Even Abby, not yet 2 years old, will grab a book and sit by herself and carefully turn the pages and scan intently at the words and illustrations. Once in a while you hear a delightful squeal as she finds something particularly interesting. It really is a site to see.
Max was very excited when we reached our destination. “I think my mommy taked me here, afore.” He is most likely correct, as Kerri has a love for books like I have never seen before. We make our way back to the “community room” complete with audience seating for probably 30. Some long tables off to the side are covered in paper plates, crayons, paints, kid friendly scissors, stickers, pipe cleaners, glitter and lots more. In the back corner of the room on a smaller area, is a cart with juice for the kids when they are ready.
Of course, I am early, so Max and Abby find a seat in the front row while I sit off to the side to not block little ones sitting behind me. As soon as storytime begins, all is quiet. In the first of several stories, Papa Chicken agrees to read a bedtime story to Little Red Chicken, but only if he promises NOT to interrupt. As Papa Chicken begins to read the book, Little Red Chicken chimes in with his imaginative contributions to the story. This continues throughout the book and as the kids caught on, laughter followed each interruption.
After a few more entertaining stories, time for some tunes! Before the hostess played songs on her guitar, she would announce each title.
Does everyone know the Wheels on the Bus?
MAX: oh, I know this song.
I know’d this song for a long long time.
Good job, everyone! How about the Itsy Bitsy Spider?
MAX: oh, my mommy teached me this song and she teached Abby too, but she can’t really do it very well.
Wow! You are all really good singers. How about You Are My Sunshine?
MAX: oh, I know that one. That is mommy’s favorite!
Okay, before we do some crafts, let’s try My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.
MAX: (sporting a sad little frowny face) I don’t know that song, I don’t know the words. I haven’t heard that song a’fore. Nobody teached me that and I can’t read words yet.
(music and singing begin, and as the music and singing fill the air, one little voice stands out. Because he thinks that the hostess maybe did not hear him, Max removes himself from his chair and stands maybe a foot away from the singing hostess. All the while the music plays on,)
MAX: I don’t know these words. I can’t sing this song. Nobody teached me that song a’fore.
The song ends. Max politely tells the hostess “Thank You” and returns to his seat before heading over to the craft table where we shall magically turn a paper plate into a beautiful, custom-made butterfly.
After an exhausting morning, it was a very quiet ride home to have lunch.
After a nice lunch and an almost two-hour nap (them – not me) it was time for Poppa to read some of the new books from our excursion to Bookman’s. Abby had to have the giant storybook that I made so she could sit inside of it. A little toy time to take up the rest of our camp day.