He had to lift the picture book high above his messy blond head to slide it across the counter to me. I told him that if he wanted to check the book out of the library, he’d have to have a grown-up do it for him. While I was fifteen and had no idea how old he was, I figured he was too young to be able to print his name, never mind carry around his own card.
“No,” he said, face stained with fruit punch. “I don’t want it.”
“Okay,” I said. “Why don’t we put it back on the shelf?” I was in charge of the children’s room this morning and wanted to keep everything in order. After volunteering all summer, I had landed the first-ever part-time position at the library and intended to earn every penny of my $1.25 an hour salary.
“No. That is not a good idea.” He pushed his smudged glasses firmly up his nose.
“Oh?” I’d heard him giggling in the corner of the room.
“It’s too funny,” he said, shaking his head.
“Okay,” I said and put it to the side.
His mother came into the room and they talked for a minute. She checked out several other picture books that met his standards. He threw me a small, relieved smile when they headed toward the adult room. That was a close one.
As soon as they left, I read the too funny book. A little boy uses a crayon to draw his world. Subversive stuff, the power of a little kid and his crayon. Funny, maybe, but not too funny for me.