Written by Mateen Arghandehpour. Mateen was in charge of reading at the event who did perfectly and children loved it.
We gathered our books, revised our plans once more between ourselves and moved out and towards the library. Every one of us seemed to feel a slight tingle of nervousness; though it was easily concealed by how happy we were all feeling, all of us doing what we thought was good and enjoyable.
We arrived at the library and having met the person in charge – a lovely lady who did indeed help us a good deal – we set up our books and started to familiarise ourselves with the room. I was constantly being told how I could do a better job and about things that I should not forget. There was already a family here and we were approaching the time of our event. Having been given a green light, I announced our event to start in ten minutes.
After waiting ten minutes, there were already several families around and I started reading the first of our two books: The Snowman and the Sun. The colourful pages distracted me from my reading and I wanted myself to be remembering all those things I had been told of, all the things I myself had told myself and hoped the children liked the story I was reading them. The colourful pages, so distracting from the dark swivels of the Latin font. Perhaps the reason is that I just really like the snow? Or perhaps I felt as if I had been drawn into the book as I had been so many times before? In any case, I finished reading the book faster than I had anticipated I would have done in mind and started to ask the children questions about what they thought about the book and to see if they had understood what the book was trying to teach them. The ones answering me had done indeed.
Then I started the second book: the Parrot and the Merchant, and being rather intimate with the story from the times when I myself was no older than 5, enjoyed myself immensley reading the ancient tale to the children. They seemed to enjoy the imaginative illustrations and liked seeing pictures of the exotic birds and camels. I found it quite amusing that a child of oriental origins would find these animals exotic, though logical as the fact was, them having grown up in the West and all, yet it still had a ring of irony to it which I found most amusing.
After I finished reading the books and the children had discussed the ideas expressed in them and enjoyed the pictures, looking at them in their own time, they were handed sheets with related pictures in them so they could colour them in. The children seemed to have a grand time doing this all and the sound of laughter was constant. From these drawings, two were granted prizes, for the greatest amount of apparent dedication.
The parents and the children (and the other guests) were all wonderful company for the day and I at least, on my own behalf enjoyed interaction and conversation with them all; I do hope that in the future, perhaps we shall have such a merry group with such lovely people and all the merrier with more!