The group entering the "Reading Room" scurried over to Beary's chair where he sat enjoying Green Eggs and Ham nestled among a "pride" of well-loved and worn Dr. Seuss texts.
They begged to borrow the books, and in moments, all the books were planning on going home with a sometimes reluctant, but at this moment eager reader. I quickly tucked a copy of Oh The Places You Will Go into Beary's lap assuring my young friends that "this one" was an "adult book."
I purchased Beary on a whim, during a "back to school shopping spree. I did not need him. In fact, space is at a premium with three people sharing a small classroom; yet, it was love at first sight and so I filled my cart with a huge teddy bear. The kids are going to love you," I thought as I got to the car and buckled the seat belt around his soft belly that day.
Little did I know how much! Beary encourages and listens patiently as 5 year-olds point ever so slowly to the words of predictable texts. He also waits eagerly for hugs from 8 and 9 year-olds who have had a tough day. He reminds me that we really are most effective when we stop talking (so much) and lead by example. He may not be "timeless" like Suess; however, Beary and Suess are on the same page when it comes to getting kids to read.