The Light in the Toothbrush

This week my Book Bears reading group at the public library had our first meeting of the year.  September is always ‘bring your favorite book that you read over the summer’.  It’s a great way to meet the kids – grades 2 & 3 – and see what everyone likes to read.  I host the discussion, and invite each child to read a page aloud from their book.  It’s a wonderful ice breaker.

I also get a feel for how they read, and how much they read.  My wonderful all-boy group likes dragons, book series like The Boxcar Children, American war history, and much more.  Book series are very popular.  The diversity of interest is exciting.

At this point, everyone had talked about their book, and more importantly talked about why they liked it.  Everyone was listening to each other.  It’s about more than just the book.  It’s about  getting to know each other.  I understand every child, from the ‘I don’t know anyone here’ and the ‘I don’t like to talk’, to the chatterbox.  Somehow, in 20 minutes, we have all become pals.  Me included.

And then something happened.  A boy said that he reads every night.  Another boy said he does, too.  And another, and another…

The conversation went something like this:

A child:  “I read 40 pages at night.”

Me:  “That’s terrific.”

A child:  “I read 100 pages a night.  Well, one time I read 100.”

Me:  “That’s hard to read so many pages.  When I go to bed and read, I don’t read 100 pages.  40 or 50 is what I read at bedtime.  Do you ever read in the dark?”

A child:  “Sometimes I read in the dark.”

A child:  “I do, too!”

Me:  “Do you have a night light?”

All the children:  “Yes!”

And this is where it gets interesting…

Me:  “Do you ever read in the dark with a flashlight, under the covers, after Mom and Dad say it’s lights out?”

A child:  “Yes!  Sometimes I can’t stop reading because there’s an important part.”

A child:  “I don’t have a flashlight.  But my toothbrush does.”

Me:  “Your toothbrush has a flashlight?”

The child:  “No, it doesn’t have a flashlight.  It just has a light inside.  When Mom and Dad turned off the lights and said it was time for bed, I waited.  Then I tip-toed into the bathroom and got my toothbrush so I could keep reading.”

Just wonderful!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in books, children's books, Early Education, Imagination, reading, Teaching young children, The Arts, wonder, young children and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to The Light in the Toothbrush

  1. Sweet!
    I wonder if he fell asleep with his toothbrush still in bed with him…what a mystery for the parents to solve in the morning!

  2. I used to read by the crack of light that came in from the corridor between the door and the frame. My mother used to close the door half way.

  3. AJ says:

    I love doing booktalks with children. I have them talk about what they read st home and why they chose it. We also have “say something” circled after we read books in the classroom

  4. Ritu says:

    That is just so cute!!!

  5. delphini510 says:

    Lovely meeting with your children and how they opened up.
    The one with tooth brush takes the price, it is so funny.
    After light out I used to read under the blanket with a torch light or by the moon light when it was full moon.

  6. beetleypete says:

    I was allowed a real bedside lamp as a child. My Mum would come in and switch it off when I had dropped off to sleep whilst still reading. Using the modern technology of a toothbrush light shows great invention. Perhaps one day they will invent luminous pages? 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  7. Dan Antion says:

    Kids are clever! There’s no stopping when there’s an important part – this is great, Jennie.

  8. Darlene says:

    Reading by toothbrush. I love it!!

  9. mimionlife says:

    Love this! What a great way to find light! A toothbrush! 🙂

  10. mimionlife says:

    Shared this post on my Facebook page. Love it!

  11. Haha… Jennie, as expected this is another delightful post. The light-up toothbrush cracked me up though. Hugs.

  12. Cute story, Jennie. Thanks.

  13. ren says:

    Hahahahahaha….and I once thought there was no need to put a light in a toothbrush….wrong again. 😀
    My boys were about that age, when we read the wonderful book series, “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Seven fantasy novels by C.S. Lewis. It is considered a classic in children’s literature. The series includes the popular book, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”
    Just wanted to share, in case you were not aware.

    • Jennie says:

      It is still a classic and popular with children. I have read “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” to my library group. Isn’t it wonderful that good books are still loved today?! Thanks, Ren!

  14. Great post. I’ll have to go check out my toothbrush!

  15. John Kraft says:

    I read this to my wife and we both roared laughing. We think every kid should have a flashlight. What a great tool for the imagination. ..and for late night reading.

  16. Oh your stories with the kids are precious

  17. It’s nice to hear that Boxcar Children is still popular.

  18. Ha ha ha!! That is too cute!…. Who needs a light on their toothbrush?? At least it comes in handy for something!!

  19. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, this is simply wonderful!

  20. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    This is a wonderful post about children and reading!

  21. I totally LOVE this. Yes, children DO love to read!

  22. This is wonderful Jennie! Engaging the kids with always new ideas. I think they are very thankful for it. Best wishes, Michael.

  23. sjhigbee says:

    What a wonderful discussion! I was another one who used to read by torchlight under the covers and hug the failing batteries to squeeze more juice out of them…

  24. Ingenuity knows no bounds-A child with a book will always find a way to read in bed. What a marvelous group you have!

  25. Recently at my bookstore, a mom rolled her eyes and said she was buying the book for her son…that SHE reads ebooks, and HE refuses to… I said, “of course. It’s a different reading experience. There is nothing better than sitting in your closet with a flashlight reading a book with no one else in your head..” The kid nodded and we gave each other thumbs ups. I have extreme hope for the print future!

    • Jennie says:

      I absolutely LOVE this story, KC. Because kids need to feel and smell and touch those pages. An ebook just doesn’t cut it. At least not for kids. Thank goodness!! And you were there to validate all that for the kid. You probably did far more for him than you realize. Soooo, you have a book store? Have I been living under a rock and not known this? Holy Moly! Best to you, KC.

  26. dgkaye says:

    Such joyful enthusiasm from the little ones. Just the way it should be – excited about reading. 🙂 x

  27. Pingback: Permission Granted – #1LinerWeds – No Facilities

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