By Sara Morris, Book Harvest intern
I used to work at a daycare where I was often placed in the room with what they called “the cruisers.” These were the kids under a year old who were just learning to walk or “cruise” around. There was one boy, Henry, who was known for crying for hours. Henry was small for his age and had extremely fair skin that would turn red and blotchy as he cried. Despite our attempts to console him with various different flashy toys, the tears wouldn’t stop.
One day when Henry was upset, I sat him on my lap and began to read him Alyssa Satin Capucilli’s, Hello, Biscuit! He stopped crying, and was enamored with the words and illustrations on the page. We ended up reading Hello, Biscuit! at least twelve times that day. I was about ready to tell my new pal Biscuit goodbye.
I had pushed everything from toy racecars, to stuffed animals in Henry’s face in an attempt to console him. But it was a book that did the cure. Henry was 11 months old, and couldn’t yet speak, but he wanted to read. Kids love books.
I’ve been an intern at Book Harvest since August, and I have fallen in love with the organization. I think my favorite part of what Book Harvest does is the fact that we let kids choose their own books. If a kindergartener wants to read Harry Potter, great. If a middle schooler wants to read Junie B. Jones, great. If kids are enjoying what they’re reading, they will keep reading.
Every Friday, I take books to our bookshelf at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham. This is one of the best parts of the internship for me – I get to see the little faces of the readers of our books. Every week, without fail, when the children in the waiting room realize what I’m doing, they swarm around the shelf and can’t wait to choose a book of their own. Kids love books.
For the rest of the time I worked at the daycare, at some point in the day I would feel a tug on my leg. I would look down to see Henry holding Hello, Biscuit! I like to think that because of the work that Book Harvest does, there are thousands of kids in our area who are doing the same thing to someone they know. Maybe the book is Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon, or Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid or even R.J Palacio’s Wonder, but bottom line: kids love books.