I was informed by Jodie this morning that she overheard a little girl, no more than 4 or 5 years old, looking at the used kids books... pulling on her father's sleave and then asking point blank:
"Do they steal these books from little kids?"
Her father assured her that the other children were done with the books, and that they brought them here so other kids could enjoy them.
Now- there is so much happening in this exchange I get flushed with excitement. This BRILLIANT little girl saw that our used books were in fact "used". She may have seen bitten chewed and gently torn pages, with elephantine handwriting identifying previous owners something to the effect of :
Photo courtesy of my niece Maggie. (Such an accurate likeness of my proportions might I add)
Anyway back to the thought...This little girl posed a great question to her dad, one that required some upper level thinking and abstraction. One possible option for her train of thought:
-These books aren't new
-These books aren't new because ANOTHER KID LIKE ME has read them, a lot.
-Why would this other kid want to part with a well used/loved book?
Elf-like booksellers sneak into local family homes, and steal children's books to turn around and sell or ransom back to other children.
I really hope this was the logic, because it's kinda dark, and mostly spectacular. This little girl must be a reader, and I really hope she comes back in with more wildly legitimate questions.
Oh, and worry not, our used books were not stolen, and mostly unchewed upon.