Judi Moreillon

 

Ready and Waiting for You
By Judi Moreillon
Illustrated by Catherine Stock
Eerdmans 2013

Come in, come in. Come in through this door, are you new?

The metaphor of learning as opening doors of possibility has always rung true for me, and that concept was first and foremost in my mind when I envisioned this book. I believe that educators have the responsibility of inviting children and youth to cross new thresholds and to open their hearts and minds to new ideas and knowledge. In Ready and Waiting for You, every other page is an opening door that presents a triple-page spread. From the school bus door and front door of the school to the office, library, cafeteria, playground, and finally the classroom door, young children are invited to interact with and enter into a warm, caring, and exciting world of learning.

For some children, entering a school for the first time is an exciting transition from their family-centered world. For me, it was not. I was terrified to leave the security of my home and enter the unknown world of school where I knew no one and no one knew me. I do not have any positive memories from my first year of schooling. I do have an unfavorable report card and several notes that my teacher wrote to my mother. When I had a difficult day in class, my teacher pinned the news to my coat, such as “Judy cried in class today” or “Judy hid under the table when asked to recite in front of the class.”

Some choose to become educators because they had wonderful school experiences. Others become educators because they want to give children the positive experiences they never had. When I became a teacher and later when I served as a school librarian, creating a caring learning environment was always my first priority. One thing I didn’t realize before I started K-12 teaching was how important the entire school is in supporting the individual classroom community. The attitudes, values, and personalities of the principal and the custodian, the school secretary and the cafeteria workers, and the teachers and specialists who taught alongside me, all made a difference in how effective I could be as an educator in my classroom or in our library.

Ready and Waiting for You celebrates the community of school—all of the children and adults—who together make school a safe, caring, and fun place to work and play. It is dedicated to two important children in my life and to “all the children whose lives are touched by caring educators around the world who joyfully open the doors to learning.”

With her amazingly precise torn-paper illustrations, artist Catherine Stock has captured the excitement of being welcomed to school by a caring cast of children and adults. With vivid color and suggestions of movement, Catherine shapes a joyful atmosphere for learning. The children and adults in this book come together from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and with open hands and outstretched arms they welcome each other to school.

This book is published with a wish—that every child around the globe could learn in a friendly, loving learning community like the one imagined behind each of the opening doors. To take a peek behind those doors, visit the Ready and Waiting for You book trailer designed by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers at: http://tinyurl.com/btrandw4u.

 

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