Friday, 25 February 2011

“I’m so very, very sorry for Christchurch”

Yes, yes, I’m overdue for a post, I know. (There’s a reason for the words “more or less” in my tagline at the top of this page.) My next post about a library visit will be very soon. Meanwhile, take a look at the wonderful blog post from Tosca of Auckland Libraries Manukau this week. It’s very apt for New Zealand right now:

5 Books from Manukau Library that I hope will explain earthquakes to a child and provide ideas for helping

I, along with the rest of the nation, have spent a good part of the last 24+ hours scouring the internet for snippets of news and updates about the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that affected Christchurch yesterday afternoon. It should not have been a surprise, then, that my nephew Kalani - or Mr. 7 as I call him - came home bursting with questions about earthquakes and volcanoes. And was. So we set some time aside last night to talk about what he knew about earthquakes already, what he'd been told by his teacher and what was actually happening in Christchurch right now. Thanks to numerous online news clips we were able to see how things really are. It left Kalani feeling anxious and concerned - he kept stroking the screen in sympathy - and led to his asking some very technical questions about how earthquakes happen. It left me feeling appalled and saddened and teary eyed. It also made me realise how unprepared I was to discuss seismology with a child and that if I expect him to understand anything about it I need to refresh my own knowledge. Thanks to Manukau Library I now have a selection of books to look over with Kalani that should, hopefully, answer a lot of questions. Last night I wasn't in a frame of mind to build on his initial questions and encourage him to think of ways in which he and I can help the people of Christchurch so tomorrow night that's what we're going to do - list ways we can help and then actually put them into action. I'd imagine it was a lot for a 7 year old mind to process just before bedtime - it was a lot for me to process and I'm 35 - and so it was a very sombre pyjama-clad boy who said to me: 'I'm glad I'm safe but I'm so very, very sorry for Christchurch.' So am I.

Ordinarily my lists proclaim themselves to be the 'Top 5' of anything and are, more often than not, tongue-in-cheek. Today, I'm simply listing 5 books that I'm hoping will tell me how to explain what happened and provide a 7 year old with some ideas for how we can help.

Otautahi: nga whakaaro aroha me nga inoi atu ki a koutou katoa.
You can read Tosca’s recommendations here.

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