First week of the last semester of school down- eight more to go. No exclamation point because, really, it’s just plain bizarre to me that I’ll be done school and ready to start an actual career! Adult life should be interesting….
This week, I started what I think will possibly be my favourite course of my schooling- Collection Development for Children and Young Adults (a mouthful). Our first assignment was to bring our favourite children’s book into class to share. I have a lot of loved and cherished children’s books- The Jolly Postman, Grandma and the Pirates, Lily and the Purple Plastic Purse– but Robert Munsch’s Mortimer is the absolute stand out. I don’t remember my parents reading it to me, but I have a hazy memory of going to see Robert Munsch read some of his stories and being enthralled. Later on, when my niece was old enough to enjoy the hilarity of his stories, we had a tape of his readings. Obviously, my love of Mortimer was renewed (The Paper Bag Princess was a close second). A few years later when I was working as a teacher’s aide, I brought in Mortimer to use with one of my students because it’s such an active book. It didn’t take long for this one student to know the story as well as I did. During my practicum it was the first book I did for story time, and most of the kids were able to tell the story along with me.
How powerful is that?! A story that is almost thirty years old and kids (Canadian ones at least) know it by heart. I’m sure the same could be said for The Paper Bag Princess or Stephanie’s Ponytail. Got to hand it to Robert Munsch, he knows how to write for kids. Which is probably why I found it hard to pick a NEW children’s book for assignment number two. Sleep Like a Tiger, while no Mortimer, has lovely illustrations, so I SUPPOSE it could be a new bedtime favourite. But really, nothing can replace your first love.