I give thanks every Wednesday morning when I start writing these columns. First, I am thankful that there are great Mississippian or Southern authors to read and discuss. Second, I am thankful that I have great eyesight and leisure time to read. Third, I am thrilled that I have a job I love and that reading is a requirement. Lastly, that I have people willing to read these columns.
At the annual Career-Technical BBQ, I was honored among many fine members of the division for some work the library did in their behalf. It was very nice to be included and I was thankful that the LPN program could use my help. They have an excellent school and I enjoyed my time working with everyone involved.
As a little bonus, they gave me a gift. It was Christmas in theme and I got a cool spreading knife and green napkins, but at the bottom was the best gift ever. It came from people that read my columns and know me. It means the world.
They gave me Bruce Whatley’s The Night before Christmas. This fully illustrated picture book displays the magic of the season on each page. Big presents under the tree can stir young ones to all kinds of wishes. I grew up with the Santa Mouse and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, so my 70s Christmas either had tiny gifts or no gifts at all.
November is National Picture Book Month. I bet you are scratching your chin thinking, hum, I did not know that. Well, they are special. It is a format that will never fit comfortably on a Kindle or Nook. Picture books, with their 32 pages of bliss, are meant to be flipped through, carried with small hands, and sometimes even chewed on.
Picture books are the corner stone of childhood. Every child’s first stuffed animal should be accompanied with a book. I like the tie-ins myself. Books such as Elmer, with the calico elephant or Where the Wild Things Are with hairy but kind monsters are the best. I picture a child in yellow-footed pajamas with a Curious George book tucked under one arm and his hand pulling the monkey along with the other.
Thank you Career-Tech for the gift, thank you Northwest for the job, and thank you to all my readers. It gives me great pride to know that we Mississippians like our books.