Jan Ken Po Craft Fair
I was at the annual fund raiser for the Jan Ken Po summer school for Japanese American children in Sacramento today. This past summer, I was invited to teach haiku writing with my Wordsworth the Poet books, so I’m familiar with their curriculum on preserving the Japanese culture in children. I was there today to sign my books for Heritage Source to help the fund raiser.
A young girl, about 7, recognized Wordsworth the Poet book, dashed over and held the book to her chest, saying, “Wordsworth! I want Wordsworth!”
Her father asked, “Isn’t this the book you heard in school?”
She said yes, but she wanted the book.
Father said,” Since you already heard this story, there’s no need to get this book. “
The young girl began to weep as she put Wordsworth back on the table.
Father pointed to a book on the other table and said, “Here, I’ll buy this book. There’s no sense in getting a book you already read.”
He selected a book without looking at the content. Girl kept saying, “But I want Wordsworth the Poet.”
I was interrupted by a customer so I lost track of the little girl and when I turned, they were both gone.
I later walked the aisles, looking for the girl. I found her near my table again, alone. I told her I would get Wordsworth the Poet for her and would sign it. She shook her head and said no, it’s best to get the other book that her father chose. I knew I, too, had to uphold her father’s decision.
BUT: I ran an inner dialogue to her father:
Don’t you know that a book, like art and music and any of the arts, are to be appreciated over and over again? Don’t you listen to a favorite song over and over again? Don’t you read your favorite poem and even memorize a few lines? How about a work of art on your wall? Your child is crying for a book and you don’t hear her? How can you purchase a book by title alone? Do you think a book is a book and one book is like any other, in this case, Wordsworth the Poet? How did you know your child had heard this story in school? Wordsworth musts have so impressed her that she told you about it. I wish you could have heard what your daughter had said to me…so much wisdom, knowing she couldn’t make you lose face by accepting the book from me.
Ah Wordsworth, I’m glad you weren’t here today. You would have whipped your tail at the father. You would have screamed, “Fathers, listen to your children and learn from them.”
All in all, it was a very wonderful day for sales and signing close to 100 books was a good kind of pain for my carpal tunnel hand. The other pain was hard to take.
First photo with Carolyn of Heritage Source—2nd photo with customer Yvonne Ishimoto
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