Needle and ThREAD

Singing Praises of Books

The best way to share both needlework and reading with others, especially kids, is to enjoy the activities yourself. Joy is contagious.

Working as a summer camp counselor with a bunk of eight 4-year-old boys, I read a lot of picture books. One evening, after the boys had showered, eaten snack, brushed teeth, and reviewed the day at “bunk meeting,” they climbed into bed and were tucked in by all six counselors. Finally, I turned off the lights and sat down with a flashlight to read one last book; they were on their own to conjure pictures.

stupids.jpgAs usual, I grabbed a random book from the book bin. In my quiet bedtime voice, I began The Stupids Step Out.

What can I say? I was young.

Within a couple of pages I was cracking up. The boys giggled along. I read faster and louder.

The boys cried, “What’d they say?” between giggles, unable to understand the words between my snorts and guffaws. They sat up in their beds.


“Slow down!”

“Go back!”

I wiped the tears from my eyes and plowed ahead. Kids? What kids?!

The boys got out of bed, turned on the lights and gathered ’round to see the pictures. It was their only option, since they couldn’t hear the story.

That’s where I learned the difference between bedtime books and other-time books.

The kids caught my enjoyment of the book. When we take joy in reading and stitching, kids want to share it.

Want to see if you are susceptible to someone else’s enjoyment of books? Last weekend, Cheryl Klein, senior editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, transformed Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back into Baby Got Book. Cheryl’s joy is evident and very catching.

Take joy in reading and stitching. Share the germs.

Categories: Needle and ThREAD