Kindergartners and the Store

Josie Leavitt - October 19, 2011

Our local school has several kindergarten classes. Every fall and spring, these classes venture into the village and visit the stores that make up the community at the school is in. When Visanthi called me to arrange the visit for Monday, I told her that 1 pm would really be the best time for us and I love what she said: “We’ll just skip our rest time and hit the road.” And hit the road they did.
They arrived, two by two, holding hands, each kid with a hood on, even though it wasn’t really cold. I often forget how small these little kindergartners are. They are only five or six and they’re just little. I greeted them at the door and welcomed them to the store. Several kids smiled up at me and said, “I’ve been here. Do you remember me?” Of course I did, I said. Then a little moppet, who actually had a bear sweatshirt, complete with ears on the hood, called me out and asked, “What did I get?” I stumbled and was saved by Vasanthi with a graceful redirect.
Twenty-one kids all fit in the picture book section on our multi-colored rug. I asked the kids if they wanted to hear a story, so I read a few Halloween books, which was really fun. But the most fun part of the kids’ visit was their random comments: why do you call the Flying Pig? I love fairy books. Do you have the Pigeon books? Why can we talk loud here, but not the library? My dog just turned 10. My mom shops here. I’m going to be a bumblebee for Halloween. And on it went.
But the real hilarity ensued when I asked the kids to guess how many books there were in the store. Little hands shot up eager to guess. 102. No, higher. 105. Ten 50s. Nope, higher. One thousand and twelve. Nope, higher. Honestly, after five minutes of ridiculously low guesses I had to intervene. The kids got really quiet when I finally said, with much dramatic fanfare: 29,000 books. They looked around and wondered how that all those books fit in the store. I told them that sometimes I didn’t know.
The beauty of these visits is it brings kids into the bookstore, some for the first time, and it’s not about selling them anything. It’s about community. These kids see the store every day on their way to school and to stop in and share a story and tell us about their Halloween plans just makes the store more theirs. I look forward to their visits because 20 five-year-olds can make me smile all week.
So, here’s hoping that in the spring they’ll skip rest time and hit the road again.

4 thoughts on “Kindergartners and the Store

  1. Carol B. Chittenden

    You’re right, they’re small. I was horrified, when Mo Willems came, to see that the room at the public library was barely half full, despite the school’s plans to send 150 kids (which left room for 44 members of the general public, before we hit the fire marshall’s lega limit). Turns out, per the librarian who held a clicker and counted heads as they entered the room, that 166 came. But they’re so tiny, and so eager to get close to Mo, that they only occupied about a third of the hall!

  2. Sharon

    Aw, bless. I love class visits to my library. The kids always give me a good boost of adrenaline and make me love my job extra hard for that day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *