I may or may not have told you somewhere along the line that Giraffes Can't Dance is my favorite children's book of all time.
I probably have it almost memorized. And I have special voices (to the extent that I can do voices) and inflections at certain times. I have read this book to Biggie so many times that he can probably recite it to you verbatim.
I love this book!
So last week, when I got an email for the Mayor asking if he could take part in the "Read Across America" Program at a local elementary school, and he couldn't do it, I volunteered.
(Wow - that was a lot of sentence up there...)
Today was my day to read to a second grade class and I, obviously, chose Giraffes Can't Dance. (Sneetches by Dr. Suess was a VERY close second - what can I say? I like a book with a message.)
So I showed up at the classroom about 5 minutes early and the class was just getting back from PE. I stood off to the side so the teacher could get everyone in line and give them their next instructions. Once they were all in the class, she asked me how to pronounce my name and if I was a Miss or a Mrs.
The she showed me inside to the chair where I would sit to read.
The students were taking care of business and putting assignments away and clearing off their desks while I waited. When they were finished, she announced to the class, "This is Miss Airplane, and she is here to read to us today for 'Read Across America' week. She is the Assistant to the Mayor." And when she said that, all of the kids gasped, like they knew what Assistant to the Mayor meant and it was some big deal.
I giggled a little inside.
Then she told them that they needed to move to the carpet as quietly as possible and sit criss-cross-applesauce so that I could read them my story.
While everyone was getting situated, another student returned from running an errand and when she sat down the girl next to her whispered, very dramatically, "She's going to read to us and she's the assistant to the Mayor."
I giggled again.
Then I explained to them that today I brought my favorite book along and I would be reading it to them.
Then I started...
"Gerald was a tall giraffe, his neck was long and slim..."
And they were enthralled! They laughed at all the right parts. I changed my voice at all the right parts.
It was a smash.
When I finished they all clapped for me and then sat there staring at me with admiration and wonder in their eyes.
The teacher came up and thanked me for taking the time to read to them and handed me a certificate and a couple of gifts.
As I got ready to leave, one little boy broke the silence and said, "You are a very good reader."
My day was made. I wanted to sit there and read to him for the rest of the afternoon!
I wanted to go back to the office and ask if any other classes needed readers.
"What's Thursday look like? I can come in and move from classroom to classroom."