If anyone wants to know why Bowmanville, a historic town east of Toronto, is becoming so popular with young families, retirees and those in-between — many moving from big centres — the pictures below are one reason:
Would you believe we’re in a bank?
Yes, and it’s Storytime!
Author Viki McDonald (“Coach Tate and Team Triple 8”) and I were invited to read our stories at Bowmanville’s DUCA credit union.
Children and their parents sat comfortably on the blankets and comforters that the DUCA staff had spread on the floor.
Vikki and I sat in chairs made even more comfy with quilts that were made by the mother of DUCA manager Karen.
Are you feeling the small-town spirit yet?
We’d stop at times and ask the children questions about the storylines and they’d shout back answers, sometimes making everybody laugh.
Cupcakes and cookies were served.
The idea for a storytime came from staffer Meeghan, and was quickly accepted by Karen and the other staff. They approached me shortly after Myrtle the Purple Turtle was published. I was surprised, but also delighted.
And now I’m going to embarrass myself a little. When I first moved to this region a few years ago, I dropped into the DUCA branch. Taken aback by their kindness, I blurted out: “Are people here always THIS friendly?”
As you may know, I struggle with issues from a car accident, and one of them is that my brain doesn’t always co-operate with tasks that were once ridiculously easy. I also sometimes stutter and can’t get the words out clearly. But the DUCA staff took it all in stride, and when my book “An Honest House” (which describes my efforts to learn to live with those issues) was published, I went in to share the news.
Their reaction was such that you would have thought I was family.
So as I think about it, perhaps Storytime in a bank — authors reading their stories and young families seated happily on the floor, listening — makes perfect sense.
And we all loved it.
Thank you, DUCA staff! You’re wonderful.
Photos by Hamlin Grange.
50 thoughts on “Storytime in Small-Town Ontario”
Kudos Cynthia on your continued success, venues to share your book and friends in the community.
Thanks, Brad. And thanks to you for your poetry, pictures and Awesome Stories. This week’s edition is beautiful.
Thank you Cynthia. 🙂
Kudos Cynthia, this is so sweet.
Thank you, Sarah. It was great.
I felt like I was right there – wrapped in a blanket, listening to your voice and hearing your story. What a wonderful post. Thanks, Cynthia.
Thank you, Diane. Very much!
It would be great if this idea was to catch on round the world!
Wouldn’t it? It’s the kind of thing that helps to build community too.
I grew up and still live in a small town, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I hear you, brother.
Oh, wonderful! Wish I could move there. Also LOVE the name Timea! I might have to use it in one of my books. By the by, a certain purple turtle has a cameo in my second book. Thought you would get a kick out of this. Anyway, you rock, and so does your bank. And community.
I’m going to get a kick out of it, you can bet! Glad you like Timea’s name. She is a sweet little girl and her father and older sister were also lovely.
I was glad to be able slide Myrtle in where it made sense. Fun!
I can hardly wait!
P.S.Auto-correct did not approve of the little girl’s delightful name. Dratted thing!
No, I caught it and will see if I can edit it for you now.
I love the idea of story time at the bank, and the family atmosphere!
The children at the bank reminded me of one day in my local bank back in east, long ago. It was a cold, rainy winter day. All the customers waiting in various lines for the next teller looked rather sullen, quiet and unhappy; it was a busy day at the bank, with many customers, and too few tellers. Suddenly, from somewhere within the forest of legs came the booming, happy voice of a small child that had spontaneously burst into song. “Tra-la-la-BOOM-de-ay, tra-la-la-BOOM-de-ay, tra-la-la-BOOM-de-ay, tra-la-la-BOOM-de-ay!”, she sang. All the sullen customer faces turned just as quickly to smiles and laughter. 🙂
Oh, lavinia, you made me giggle with that story! What a wonderful occurrence. We adults need a child to do that whenever we get too grumpy or quarrelsome!
What a wonderful day. I’m happy it’s documented in your photos and on your blog. The photo of you with Timea is so sweet. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Jill. One of the nicest adventures I’ve had in years.
The local library has story time but I don’t think the bank would be supportive. Cheers for your small town!
Well if the local library does it, that’s a very good thing! Thanks for your comment, Jo Nell.
Wonderful. Sorry you still need the stick
Some days it bugs me too, Derrick, but it helps keep me moving, so I am very thankful. In earlier years, I lost 5 or 6 canes, and I suspect it was subconscious. I’ve had this one (and another) for quite a while now, so I guess I’ve gone through an attitude adjustment!
This would be the bank for me. My bank does have a play area for children but I don’t think they have managed story time yet!
A play area for children is a very good thing, Gallivanta. Hope you’re doing well during this time, my dear.
Quite well. But I have not yet found my rhythm. 😉
Take your time, dear girl.
That was really interesting that a bank would host story time.
It really was. And once we began, and I looked at the children and their parents sitting on those great blankets on the floor (some kids even lying down), it felt entirely natural.
What a special storytime! I love storytime, I’m fascinated by watching the curious little ones…these younger developmental years are the best.
Me too! It was a very special storytime. Thanks for visiting my blog.
How lovely. Story time where ever it is, is great!
Absolutely. Thanks for commenting and wishing you a great weekend.
I love the small towns in ontario. I was in amherstburg ontario on summer at a waterskiing job and I had no IDEA everyone I would come across would be kind but sure enough they were!
I’m glad to read that younger generations are doing a better job than ours (gun control anyone? Oh, that reminds me that I need to send off some e-mails to my senators and representatives about accepting contributions from the NRA… grrrrr) -Oscar
This looks really fun, Cynthia! I love seeing all these young people so interested in your stories! Sadly, I can’t see our banks doing this. The head offices of all the different banks are intent on shutting all the small town branches. The libraries have story time though, so all is not lost!
Thanks, Clare. Storytime at libraries is ideal. And other local organizations could do it too! A great way to promote literacy and build community.
I often wonder why–in a world we can create–we choose to create such utilitarian places. It sounds like this town has learned how to put the magic into those places:). And I know you know how to put the magic in your writing. Lucky children!
The bank outreach is impressive. PayPal sure doesn’t offer that. That sort of family-friendliness is one (more) reason why chain bookstores are going under. I’ll never forget when Barnes and Noble said they didn’t want to host our book critique group anymore. Really?
Wonderful story Cynthia. It looked like a cozy time and I’m sure you garnered some little reader fans with your children’s book too. 🙂
What a lovely post Cynthia …
So great to hear stories like this in our crazy world. There is goodness still. Pictures are wonderful. Tina
It is always a delight to read your upbeat, loving posts, Cynthia.
So heartwarming. It’s stories like this that should make the news!
That is the cutest thing I’ve seen! My parents used to take me to the public library for storytime.. lovely post
M & Bear
What a wonderful community, Cynthia. I live in a small town too, and it’s a great place to be a writer. There’s so much support and kindness. Thanks for sharing. 🙂