In the Stacks: Reading’s fun in the summer sun

Any book is fair game when school isn't in session

What time is it Mr. Wolf?

Remember that game? Loved it, I was good at it, too.

And what does it have to do with books, libraries, and reading? This is how it plays out in my mind —School’s out for summer, as Alice Cooper rocked in one of the most popular songs you will STILL hear this time of year.

During the school year, I always loved reading, which included the readers we all got to put our names in for the year and keep in our desks. I know that Dick and Jane are now seen as politically incorrect, but, I can’t help it, I loved Sally’s curly yellow hair and the way Spot could run so fast!

And, as I sit here today, I will tell you that the stereotypical roles of the men and women didn’t have much effect on me and keep me tied to an apron string in the kitchen. I love aprons, don’t get me wrong, but that is because I am a messy person, no more, no less.

I have bought old readers online and at garage sales, my favourite being the grade 4 reader “Happy Highways 4”. It had chapters on greek myths, Canadian folk tales and poetry, that, at the time I thought was excellent.

I shall recite, because it lives in my memory … “A capital ship for an ocean trip, was the Whalloping Window Blind. No gale that blew dismayed her crew, nor troubled the captains mind”.

I could write more, but that would be showing off! But where I am going with this is, that in spite of the readers I adored, one of the coolest things I remember about summer was reading whatever I chose. No rules, no deadlines, I could just read.

It’s what I remind the kids that come in class visits to the library before summer vacation. I say, summer isn’t the time to stop reading; it’s the time to read ANYTHING! I tell them, if you want to read Garfield books, you do that, and if your parents get mad, they should come and talk to me! You may also hear me quoted by your children that if they are bored, and start that familiar whine, “I’m bored, I don’t know what to do” that I have suggested one thing that might fix that is a trip to the library. It’s free, there are contests and great books ready for the picking all summer long.

Also noteworthy in my lectures to students, is that you can read anywhere. Under or in a tree, tents, beaches, basements and library corners. And that’s where, ‘What time is it Mr. Wolf’ comes in … if you are going to read outside, don’t forget to play outside. The wonderful old fashioned games that move grannies and toddlers alike are too much fun not to play.

I have even seen the odd teenager tossing a dodgeball, and playing kick the can. I challenge everyone to make this a summer of reading and playing, two rather cheap activities as it turns out. No admission necessary. We have lots of things in our area that lend it self to this from the library’s Summer Reading Club for all ages, child to adult, plus Storytime in the Park every Wednesday, to the Fun Spot program with District of Kent to the Summer Fun Passport, something new and a great way to remember what you can do in town, and enter for prizes doing them.

We have parks and trails in Agassiz-Harrison, we have beaches and river banks for sand-castling and rock hunting. You can be as hot or as cool as you want to be – enjoy the sun poolside, beachfront or spend a little time in the air-conditioned coolness of your Agassiz Library. It’s never been easier or more fun to hang out around home and make your summer awesome.

I always love to recommend some reads in these column inches that the Observer graciously offers the library, and this time, I am suggesting you come and take out a book on those childhood skipping rhymes …. “Not last night but the night before, 24 robbers came knocking at my door. I asked them what they wanted, and this is what they said …” there was a million of them!

There are the classics that you read when you were young that you should read again and share with someone.

Can you read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe too many times? Will we ever get over the dream of getting the chance to live like 12-year-old Sam, in My Side of the Mountain who lived in a tree and got to be the boss of himself?

For information on summer library programs, and there are some great ones, call the library. If you want to get playing, call the Fitness Centre, they can keep you busy!

I know I’ll see you around town, and I look forward to seeing you in the stacks, for your guilty summer reading fix or with yours or someone else’s children at your side. We can talk about our favourite titles, complain about the mosquitoes a little, but mostly, we can get reading and plan for playing.

 

Just Posted

A Milbert’s tortoiseshell rests on a flower. Nature Chilliwack says butterfly gardens for every stage of life are possible using plants native to the area. (Photo/Nature Chilliwack)
Nature Chilliwack offers butterfly garden tips

Gardens can be created using local plants, the nature club says

(Photo/Mary-Jean Coyle)
Community Camera for June 11, 2021

Submit your photos to news@ahobserver.com

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read