I love teaching 2nd grade. One of the best parts is the books. Children’s books are hilarious and engaging. There’s Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Mercy Watson, and The Pain and the Great One. There are also books that can be quite emotional. Lots of tears stream down my face when I read aloud Sarah Plain and Tall or There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom.
The best books though, are the ones where the emotion completely surprises me. When I get to the last page of a book and I’m fighting back tears. My noise will tickle and my voice will get hoarse. I try to play it cool so no one notices.
This happened last night at our Read Across America event honoring Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Students come back to school in their PJ’s to hear teachers read books aloud. Students rotate to 3 different classrooms and hear 3 different stories. Since I volunteered to read, I had to pick any story and read it 3 times in a row. I chose Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor. I love this book because it is so silly. The main character teaches her family how to be fancy. They dress up in costumes and use “fancy” words like “posh” or “parfait.”
It surprised me during my 2nd session when I choked up on the last page. The parents put Nancy to bed at the end of the story and they say, “I love you Nancy.” Nancy replies with “I love you, too” because there is not a fancier word for love. It is the one thing in the whole book that doesn’t need to be fancy.
Maybe this is more proof that the more times you read a book, you notice different things. Maybe I was moved by the kiddos in their PJs cuddled with their parents. Or maybe it’s this big truth about love hiding inside a silly story for children. Whatever the reason, it makes me love Fancy Nancy even more!
I wonder what the next book will be that will catch me by surprise.