First thing this morning I said to my six-year-old daughter, "Good morning. How're you doing, Punk?"
She rubbed her eyes and replied, "Good." Then she opened her eyes and smiled. "No, not good. Great!"
"Why are you not just good but great?" I asked, expecting her to tell me about some funny dream she had or something fun she and her daddy did last night while I was at work at the public library.
"Because it's World Book Night!"
According to the flier Katie brought home from school, World Book Night is "a night in which free books are given away to adults and students to promote reading and literacy." It continues, "There are no strings attached. Just show up and pick out your book!"
But they're not just giving away books. There will also be fun family activities such as:
R.E.A.D. Dogs--special educational dogs trained to sit and listen to children read their books.
Crafts--make a bookmark for your special new book, or maybe a new cover for your book.
Snacks and drinks.
Special guest readers.
It's not shocking our kiddo is excited for World Book Night. We've known since she was very young that, as comedian Bill Hicks said, "Looks like we got ourselves a reader." Here's a video of her "reading" Goodnight Moon from memory when she was two years old, to our dog Sawyer:
My brother and his wife had to visit with my niece's second-grade teacher because my niece wouldn't stop reading in class. That sounds absurd, but I'm totally serious. My niece would keep a book open, hidden under her desk on her lap, and she'd read instead of paying attention to what was going on in class. My niece moved on to the gifted program at school, attended a fancy university, and got a well-respected job doing what she loves, so it's not like getting in trouble at school for reading too much hurt her in the long run.
I'm similarly not very concerned about Katie's obsession with reading. No matter how irritating it can be when I catch her reading instead of doing "what she's supposed to be doing", I'm still proud she's so reading-crazed. Just this morning I had to nag her to get ready for school. Every two minutes I'd poke my head through her bedroom door to make sure she was getting dressed. After five times of catching her, still naked, reading her book, I raised my voice:
"Katie! If you don't put that book down right now and get ready you're going to be late for school and it's going to throw your whole day off and then how are you going to enjoy World Book Night?!"
She threw the book to the ground and got dressed faster than a private enlisted in the army.
Call me Sergeant Librarian.