Reading to the gerbils

Posted on Aug 19, 2017

Yuina (let us call her that) is busy making a book. There are (literally) hundreds of different activities in the classroom that could be taking up her time, her concentration, her dexterity, and her skill, but, this morning, it is book-making. She is making a book for a particular purpose: to read to the class gerbils. She takes several sheets of paper, and, using a hole punch, makes holes down the edge of each page: the same number of holes for each page and in approximately the same place. Then, she uses treasury tags to bind the pages together. Satisfied with her creation so far, she moves to her next destination: the Art Island. Here, she delicately, and rather beautifully, decorates the front cover of the book with pom-poms, glitter, lollipop sticks, sequins, ribbons and whatever other flourishes she feels appropriate. Yes, this is a happening book.

As we all know, such books come pre-populated with a story, so Yuina is ready to realise the purpose of her endeavour. She finds the gerbils receptive and reads to them in Japanese. Now, as any Japanese four-year-old knows, not that many people in an English nursery actually speak Japanese so, drawing on her bilingual ability, she translates the story into English. The gerbils are well pleased!!