Monday, 17 October 2011

Storytime : double whammy!

This week saw the double edition of storytime. On Wednesday, the group was composed of 10 6-8 year olds and my two little monsters and my friend Anne's bilingual kids. Suzanne pulled up a chair next to me and read her own books- although she enjoys storytime, it was understandably much less fun without any of her friends. Marie and I mostly reused some of the stories we'd done previously including Le Machin which works amazingly bilingually. but we also did "Three Billy Goats Gruff" from Yummy by Lucy Cousins. Her versions of the fairy tales are straight to the point and lend themselves well to split, bilingual reading. The group was enthusiastic and able to retain a certain number of words. The already had a good base which helped. Saturday's group was completely different. There were 4 kids plus my 2. All of the kids were between 3 and 6. Marie and I did some of the younger books including What Faust Saw, I Want My Potty, I Like Books and I'm Going on a Bear Hunt, the latter is a great exercise in otomotopea (isn't that a great word?!). The parents were enthusiastic and so is Marie, despite the issues the library is currently facing.

When we finished, she told me that there was an administrative mess up so storytime in November and December wouldn't apprear in the library agenda but that there would be flyers made for the library. She also told me that she didn't mind doing one Wednesday and one Saturday a month. I'm getting the feeling that she's enjoying storytime!

I wanted to do some Halloween stories but the library didn't have any that were easy enough to read to a mixed group of kids. Tant pis.

Other notable moments of the weekend included my distribution of Halloween fliers to all my neighboors at 11pm on Friday night in an attempt to remain visibly invisible. This is my attempt to bring Halloween to my street. One neighbor has already decorated her windows. Another told me that as long as kids didn't come ringing their bell and asking for candy, they would do Halloween. Um, yeah. My kids are extremely excited for Halloween. I've got to start working on Suzanne's ghost costume!

On Sunday, as the kids and I walked through the Wazemmes market square on our way back from visiting La Ferme des Dondaines, Suzanne asked me, "can we speak French together so people won't know we're English?" I decided not to correct her on the semantics of it - English versus American and the fact that I just physically cannot speak French to my kids. But when I asked her why she didn't want people to know we spoke English, she said, "because I don't want to go to prison." I then explained to Suzanne that in France, people don't get sent to prison for speaking a different language and that we should be proud to speak English AND French. I sometimes wonder how much the bilingualism adds to the insecure musings of the common 5 year old.

But seeing the semi-popularity of storytime, I don't think we need to worry about being imprisoned for a little while at least.

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