On Wednesday we stepped into that magical world where anything is possible and adventure awaited us - the children's room at the main branch of the New York Public Library.
After a short subway ride we were greeted by John who ushered us into the children's room with promises of fun stories, grand sights and lots & lots of books.
Our wide-eyed, excited kindergarten students quietly followed John past the displays promoting the new movie Where the Wild Things Are, past the original stuffed animals that inspired A.A. Milne's writing of the adventures of Winnie-the Pooh and past (as promised) lots & lots of books.
After some settling in John began reading us several stories. The first was Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me by Eric Carle. Eric Carle is an amazingly successful children's book author/illustrator but I was not familiar with this book. Shame on me because it is really, really engaging with its creative use of paper folds and space.
John also read us the classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Our students knew this one and gleefully joined in during the reading.
A real treat was that he gave all of us a crown so we could be like the title character, Max, in that story. Now we had lots of little 'kings' creating their own rumpus in the library as they ran from place to place exploring books and playing with the stuffed animals.
They were very happy.
We also took a tour of the rest of the library. It is rather grand, majestic, exquisite, impressive and all those words that make you imagine a bunch of kids with their mouths hanging open in disbelief - well, me anyway.
Our visit ended with a look at the original stuffed animals that once belonged to A.A. Milne's son, Christoper Robin. Here were Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga and Tigger showing signs of being loved but still together after all these years. After 80 years a new Pooh adventure has been written. Return to the Hundred Acre Wood has been written by David Benedictus in the style of the original.
The Winnie-the-Pooh stories have the best twists on language. Very simple statements that are also rather deep. This line cracked me up because it is my mind completely "Owl had flown to Rabbit's house, and Rabbit had spoken to his Friends and Relations, who had spoken to Smallest-of-All, who thought he had seen Christopher Robin but couldn't be absolutely certain because sometimes he remembered things which turned out not to have happened yet, or ever, or at all".
Thanks to our school librarian, Sara, for setting up our visit.