Yesterday, I finally did something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time. I gave a children’s book to a young girl and her mother while riding the bus. Her mother was young and wasn’t interacting with the little girl on the ride from Ashmont to Forest Hills Station.
She’ll be the first, I thought, glad that I had remember to stash a book in my bag.
“How old is she?” I asked and smiled at the mother.
“Two and a half, almost three,” she replied.
“Oh, she’s so cute,” I said. And she was with her white beads jingling at the end of her neat braids.
“Thank you,” mother said and then went back to her nowhere stare.
I reached into my bag and pulled out a brightly-colored board book, “Whose Toes Are Those?” by Jabari Asim with illustrations by LeUyen Pham that featured two tiny, brown feet on the cover.
“May I give you this book for your daughter?”
“Yes…why sure,” she said.
She passed the book to her daughter who squealed in delight, seized it with both hands and began to look at it and talk about the pictures.
The gift even made the mother crack a smile. She said thank you – as did her daughter. She didn’t read the book to her daughter on the bus but I felt good that I’d booked someone there by officially launching my quest to give books to at least one child a week while I’m on the bus or train (more if I’m able to pull it off). *
Call it random booking for the love of books by me who “might should” have been a librarian!
This is prompted by my love of reading, enjoyment of children’s books and the fact that I see so many young parents not talk to or interact positively with their children while riding the T. The other day, one young mother had her hands full with a baby in the stroller and two little ones ages 4 and 6, I’m guessing. She had her iPod in her ears and was reaidng a paperback with the word BITCH prominently in the title. It took 3 or 4 yells before her six year old caught her attention. The little girl was “reading” a Metro paper and wanted to show her mother something in it. Mother would say, “Yes!” or “What???!!!” or “Leave me alone – damn” and then go back to her book. I guess it was good she was reading but the scantily clad model on the cover and the word BITCH were not the best literature for the children to see. Oh, well…