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The Snowy Storytime

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe snow swirls outside, but T wants to go to PJ storytime, so we scarf down stir-fry, don turtle jammies, and crunch our way up the ramp to the public library. Inside, snow-covered boots are discarded, jackets are shed, and squirmy listeners settle onto a multicolored afghan in the middle of the children’s room.

Ms. Alexis opens the book and reads, “The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.”

I watch the kids stare up at the pictures of Peter, and I try to tune out the headlines in my own mind. Executive Action. Authoritarian. Gag order. Fake News.

The kids giggle as Peter journeys out, collects snow and puts it in his pocket. Some anticipate — and some are disappointed — when the snowball melts away. Luckily, though, Peter will set out again the next day, reminding us that there are more footprints to leave, snowballs to collect, and mountains to climb.

When the story is over, we inquire about bus books — and select two.

“Get bus ones, guys!” T announces to the girls searching for a new middle-grade novel, to some kids coloring, to a boy reading Goosebumps.

“They might be looking for something else,” I remind him. “That’s what’s so cool about the library.”

Soon, eyelids heavy and arms laden, we head out to the front steps.

“Did you have fun, buddy?” I ask.

ziiiiiiipppp

“Yeah, Mama. Me want to go ‘gain.”

“Me, too.”

There’s more I want say. Like that the public library is the great equalizer. That it stands for the greatest right of all: The freedom of inquiry. The freedom to scrutinize with impunity. I want to read him the Freedom to Read Statement:

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture… We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. (AAP Freedom to Read Committee. “Freedom to Read Statement” ala.org. June 30, 2004.)

I want to tell him that perspective, empathy, information, and thoughtfulness is power. I want to tell him that when you stand on this concrete step–though it may not look like much with its dirt and salt packed snow–you stand on the cornerstone of freedom.

But…that’s a lot for two. So, “Thanks for coming to the library with me,” I say.

He giggles, looking at snowflakes land on his fat mittened fist. And then we turn our faces to the sky and catch snowflakes on our tongues.

Here, now, to quench our thirst.

About Erin E. Moulton

Erin E. Moulton is the author of Flutter, Tracing Stars, Chasing the Milky Way, and Keepers of the Labyrinth. She is also the teen librarian at the Derry (NH) Public Library.

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Comments

  1. Lovely! I enjoyed this post!!!

  2. Sarah J Barton says:

    I loved this post. Has your son seen the book “Mike’s House”? Very old and very old fashioned but maybe……

  3. Erin Moulton says:

    Sarah, Thank you! I haven’t read Mike’s House, yet, but I’ll definitely pick it up 🙂

    Best,
    Erin

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