Growing up, my house had no TV. Recently, a friend mused that this was probably more shocking then than it is now. Many families do without TV but have Internet, streaming video, and other sources of entertainment. We had radio, records, and books–lots of books. I grew up in worlds painted by words rather than photons. While others watched cathode ray tubes, I read Ray Bradbury. Of course, I watched TV at friends’ houses, but at home I spent hours reading books.
Recently, my school decided to have a secret book elf event in which each teacher or staff member was assigned another to gift a book using school funds. I work in a space with the librarian and the academic support person, and we launched into a several day rhapsody about our favorite books. In the end, I did get a book for my elfee, but I also got a book to donate to the library and one for myself.
It turns out that the support person is my elfee, and she collects pop-up books, ABC books, and children’s literature. I found quite a few titles to share with her from my childhood, and she is very excited to start tracking them down and adding them to her already sizable collection. From my childhood, I pulled Borrobil, a children’s journey into Beltane Eve.
For the library, I chose volume one of the Moomintroll Comics. I prefer the books, but students are drawn to graphic novels right now. I hope that these adorable creatures and their adventures draw some readers to the books and into the wonderful delights of Moominvalley.
For myself, I purchased ABC3D, a pop-up ABC book. It is ingenious. I will share it with the kids, but it will live on my shelf.