by Rachel Stine, Book Harvest Partnerships Manager
Last month I attended my first Book Babies Celebration. Every December and July, the Book Babies community comes together at the Stanford L. Warren Library in Durham. Due to a fabulous partnership with the Durham County Library, our Book Babies parents and their children walked into the multipurpose room and had their choice of scooping rice in a big bin at the sensory station, painting with potato stamps, building with Duplos, and, of course, reading books on the carpet.
Natasha McCurley, our Book Babies Team Leader, opened the event by explaining to families that this was a celebration for them, for all of the hard work they do each and every day reading to their babies. Two bilingual storytimes brought everyone together, and included a welcome song with clapping of hands and stomping of feet, a reading of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and a chanting of “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” After the story time, families visited the different stations, enjoyed bagels and fruit, and visited with each other. The morning ended with Book Babies families selecting books to take home to add to their home libraries.
I found myself smiling a lot during the morning. I don’t know if it was because I love babies and seeing newborns to two-year-olds all in one room is really fun, or because all of these families took time out of their Saturday to come to the event. Or maybe it was because of the conversation I had with a Book Babies mom who told me how much she appreciates the Book Babies program and how much her two-year-old daughter enjoys reading books. Or maybe it was just so joyous to be a part of a gathering with people of all ages, from many backgrounds, speaking several languages all together in one room because of books. Books have this amazing way of uniting people from all walks of life. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning!