INTRODUCTION IT’S STORYTIME The children toddle, run, and skip their way into the room. If it’s a public library, caregivers accompany them, book bag in one hand, eyes watching their child and simultaneously selecting their place on the floor. One child decides to demonstrate how well she can twirl and how sparkly her tutu is as she twirls. Another immediately asks for his snack, and his father pulls out the traditional box of raisins. A boy and a girl recognize each other and with squeals of delight they hug, then bend, butts in the air, and then on the floor as one shows the other new shoes and the other fusses with her hat until the parent removes it, all the while chatting with the boy’s parent. Sev- eral children sit quietly, nestled in their mothers’ laps, watching the waiting librarian with wide eyes. The librarian smiles they stare. If it’s a preschool, teachers guide the children to sit in rows, “crisscross applesauce.” Some sit facing the wrong direction, and she reminds them to face the flannel board. Heads swivel, looking for friends or who is crying or a chance to sit next to a favorite teacher. There is jostling, adjustment, rearranging, settling. And then storytime begins. “Hello, friends. Good morning, everyone.” There is a welcome song. “Here We Are at Storytime” Tune: The More We Get Together Here we are at storytime, at storytime, at storytime (everyone claps along)
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