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Read Aloud Thursday


We spent most of the days between last Read Aloud Thursday and this one on a little mini vacation to the beach.  We stayed at a beautiful resort thanks to a deep discount, but even such gorgeous accommodations (which include everything from croquet to fishing, bike riding to beach combing) lose their glow when it’s perpetually gloomy and drizzly.

So what do you do on a vacation to the beach that is derailed by rain?  I’ll admit we did spend a ridiculously expensive afternoon at the movie theater (the girls’ inaugural trip) watching a Toy Story and Toy Story 2 double feature in 3-D, only to find out later that the resort does indeed have an indoor pool.  🙂 

However, I was more resourceful at other times than I was that desperate Sunday afternoon.  We went to the library, of course!  We trekked into the picturesque little town of Fairhope and visited the public library, a beautiful and imposing edifice on the edge of town.  I could tell by the outside that this one should be something to see on the inside, as well.  I was right.  Boy, was I right.  Please allow me to share a few pictures here with you, and then we’ll be on to the matter at hand.

 This is the main room of the library.  Isn’t it beautiful?  It reminds me of a university library, with everything out in the open and the lighted tables.

main room of library

Of course, the girls and I spent most of our time in the “young children’s room.”  It was gorgeous!


artwork hanging from ceiling

This lovely room was a gift to the library from the Beard family.  Isn’t it amazing what one family’s generosity can do?

I loved the abundance of artwork that was everywhere in this room.  Do you recognize this piece?

Watty Piper artwork

When we first walked in, I began to detect a theme. . .

rainbow on wall

Of course, smart librarians have a few tricks up their sleeves. . .

rainy day picture

The girls and I spent a while in the lovely children’s reading room, doing a little bit of this. . .


and a whole lot of this. . .

Madeleine on lap 

By the time we left, we had shared a nice little stack of books. . .

 shelving cart

I was delighted to find James and the Rain by Karla Kuskin spread-eagle atop a bookcase, ready for the taking.  (Those librarians really do  know their tricks!)  I don’t know if it was the fortuitious atmospheric conditions or what, but I loved this book.  (For the record, the girls got a kick out of it, too.) It’s the story of a little boy named James who happily goes out for a walk in the rain, cozily wrapped in his yellow raincoat and carrying his umbrella.  While walking, he meets animals in incrementally increasing numbers, and each time he asks them, “Do you have any excellent rainy day games?”  Of course, they do, and the procession of animals grows and grows until they meet ten cats who like nothing better on a rainy day than to sit by a roaring fire.  And so they all do, and the story ends.  I left out one important bit of information:  this story is told entirely in rhyme!  If rollicking good sing-songy stories are your children’s thing, this one should really be a hit!  Reg Cartwright’s oil paintings provide beautiful, folksy, color-saturated illustrations that really enhance this fun story.  Highly recommended!

We read a few other keepers that I’d love to highlight here, but unfortunately, my memory only goes so far.  (Truthfully, I took notes on the above story!)  We wandered around the library for a bit, snapping pictures, and then we went out into town.  One highlight for me was visiting this fabulous bookstore, where I was sorely tempted to purchase the hot-off-the-press Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, the first authorized sequel to the A.A. Milne tales (read my thoughts about the originals here).  I stayed strong, though, and thought about my library.  😉

So what have you and yours been reading lately?  Please share it with us, either by creating your own blog post and linking it here or by simply leaving a comment.  You must click on the MckLinky link below to link up your blog post or to view the list of links!

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Have a terrific Read Aloud Thursday!


13 Responses

  1. Lovely library!

  2. I did one this week! 🙂


    And what a beautiful library! Glad you guys got away for some R&R. 🙂

  3. Those pictures are great. It’s almost enough to make one thankful for a rainy vacation…

    I left my link above. It’s on ‘The Silver Pony’ and a few other odds and ends.

    Happy R.T. 🙂

  4. What an awesome post and what an AWESOME library! =D That is amazing! What fun!

    Here is my post this week which is very much to your liking, I think! 😉


  5. What a beautiful library! Itsn’t it funny that even on vacation us homeschoolers get in a visit to the library. lol

  6. That beautiful library does look collegiate. What a fine way to spend part of a rainy vacation.

    I just checked on James and the Rain, and my library has it! I’ll be picking it up tomorrow. Thanks for the review.

    I’m going to write down Read-Aloud Thursday on my calendar so I can actually participate one of these days. 🙂

  7. Oh, goody! On both counts–James and the Rain AND Lisa the Correspondent participating in R.A.T.!!!

  8. […] Booth) 10. Diane Mayr (October Dusk, an original) 11. Kurious Kitty (examines Leaf by Leaf) 12. Amy @ Hope Is the Word (James and the Rain by Karla Kuskin) 13. Reflective Ink (an original haiku) 14. Wild Rose Reader (Original October Poems) 15. Blue […]

  9. Oh How I Love to visit libraries in other towns. I work in our local one and it seems to drab compared to the ones I see when I’m out and about. My husband thinks I’m nuts when I want to go to them. Thankfully my kids love the library like I do so we have fun. What a beautiful library you got to see. I love the kid size keyboards.

  10. Thanks for sharing your library adventure. Too bad about the rain, but it sounds like you had fun anyway!

  11. […] I’ll admit that I did, too. We listened to a couple of the stories over and over again when we went on vacation last fall, and we all got in on the fun.  Since then, we’ve checked out another one of the collections […]

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