Today’s Giveaway was more books, but this time twenty or so children’s books that I selected for a very specific purpose. I have been helping organize educational programming at the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena, a magical place that is focusing its mission around nature, culture and wellness. The garden is open the last Sunday of every month to the public, and programs on these Open Days range from lectures, to healthy cooking workshops to musical performances. It occurred to me that on those days while adults might be engaged in listening to music or a lecture, children who have had their fill exploring the garden might enjoy sitting in a corner of the garden or the main house leafing through – or even reading! – books relating to the garden.
So, I gathered together – nay, curated! – a selection of 20 or so children’s books relating to art, Japanese and Chinese culture, nature and the environment and placed them in a basket that can be placed enticingly in the kids’ corner. These are all books I had collected over the years to read with Theo and his friends, either individually or in small classes I was teaching, but although we have looked through most of them, they don’t get a whole lot of use in a house with one child living in it. Although I have always been very particular about keeping our books in good condition – and very rarely will write in my own – it has recently struck me that there is such a thing as a book that’s too clean. Far better, it seems, that these books to be available to children visiting this magical garden so that they become grubby and dog-eared from use by little ones whose curiosity is sparked about nature, art and the many wonders of our world’s different cultures.
The book basket will be available for kids to enjoy on the Garden’s next Open Day, Sunday April 26. On that day, there will be a Japanese Rice-Ball Making Workshop with Japanese home-cooking instructor Sonoko Sakai for kids and parents. Learn how to make healthy, cute, and delicious onigiri for snacking and lunches. For more information, please check the website: http://www.japanesegardenpasadena.com.