The Magic of Story Time

Weekly Reflection, Friday, July 16

By: Amelia McDaniel

I have always loved children’s storybooks. My mother spent countless hours reading to me and I am the richer for it. At two years old, I named my first dog Tigger (after being told that Christopher Robin was too much of a name for a miniature dachshund) because my mother had been reading The House at Pooh Corner to me. I loved getting to go the library as a student to hear which new book would be introduced. Even as an older student, too old to be “read” to, I was thrilled to put my head down on my desk and listen to a teacher read from a chapter book to me. There is simply magic that happens when one is read to.

So, during the pandemic when we could not gather, I was glad that we could at least share videos of storybooks with the children. And I knew, thanks to my hours of watching Reading Rainbow as a kid, that although it was not the same as hearing a story in person, there was still magic to be had. And so we did. Together with Ashley, we recorded stories for weeks on end. There are some that had only a few views and some that had an absurd number of people watching as far away as England!

And, as grateful as I am for the ability to broadcast story time into families’ homes while we were apart, I cannot tell you how full my heart was to sit in front of a group of little people with their wide-eyed faces and the little legs tucked up under themselves or “crisscrossed apple sauced” or wriggling away on St. Mary’s Playground on Wednesday mornings this summer. To be able to anticipate what might happen next in the story together, to wonder about a picture together, to laugh at the silly bit together, or pause at the sad part and acknowledge that hearts get hurt sometimes. All of this felt as joyous as opening presents on Christmas morning.

There is nothing quite as magic to me as story time with children and although

I am the reader now, I am still the richer for it.