I finished reading aloud the chapter book, The Story of Doctor Dolittle. This is a favorite book with children, and I discourage watching the movie which makes silliness out of an excellent story.
The animals are the characters, each with an engaging personality. Doctor Dolittle is the essence of kindness and understanding. The adventures he and the animals encounter are thrilling, from monkeys and a king in Africa, to pirates and kidnapping on the high seas. I read this book aloud to children every year. It never grows old.
At the end of the story, Doctor Dolittle is serenaded each night under his window. Children asked, “What is a serenade?” Every “What is…” question is my opportunity, and I grab that brass ring. As much as I explained a serenade, I was not able to make that word come to life…
Until a few days later. I was out to dinner with my husband at a favorite Mexican restaurant. Two people strolled over to the table next to us, a man with a guitar and a woman with a microphone. They began to serenade the couple who were having a celebration.
Sernade! I whipped out my cell phone.
“What are you doing?”, asked my husband. He was not wearing a happy face.
“I have to video this for the children.”
“Have you lost your mind?”
“No. I have to show the children what a serenade is. Doctor Dolittle was serenaded and they didn’t understand.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’ll explain later.”
I was able to get a short video to show the children. They loved it! Now they understand ‘serenade’.
After the song, the musicians broke into “Cielito Lindo.” We knew the song and sang along. I swayed, even though my husband gave me a disapproving look. The Spanish words sound so beautiful. Why weren’t we taught to sing the song in Spanish when we were young?
A quick shopping trip followed dinner. Can you guess what song was playing over the store’s intercom? Yup, “Cielito Lindo.”