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Read Me a Story

"Read Me a Story" is the forty-first episode of Timothy Goes to School.

Synopsis

Nora doesn't want to learn to read because she is afraid it means that her mother will never read to her again.

Plot

Nora's mother reads her a bedtime story about an ugly duckling, a story both of them favor. Nora's mother tells her she will soon be able to read, but behind her back, Nora is afraid of it because she likes it when her mother reads to her.

The next day, the children are playing a game of looking for things whose words start with a certain letter (F at first). Lily finds a dress in the costume box, and that dress has flowers on it. Then the Franks try a button, but Mrs. Jenkins says "button" starts with B. The Franks find it tough, only to say their own/each other's names (they both have the same name). Mrs. Jenkins accepts "Frank" as an answer. Then they have to look for things that start with L. Timothy and Yoko have problems because they cannot find an instrument that starts with L. So they look somewhere else. Nora takes Norman out of his cage and brings it up. But Charles says that "Norman" starts with N. Nora proves her knowledge that Norman is a lizard, and "lizard" does start with L. She enjoys this game until she finds out it will help her learn how to read.

Then they play a rhyming game. Timothy starts it off with the word "bell," which rhymes with (is the word supposed to be "cell" or "sell"?), and gives Yoko a turn. She claps and adds "tell." Then Nora adds "yell" (and she yells while doing so). Then she gives Fritz a turn. Unable to decide which word, he eventually chooses "fell." Fritz expresses his liking to Mrs. Jenkins, and Nora expresses hers, but when Mrs. Jenkins says it will help them learn how to read, Nora is not happy about it. When Yoko chooses the word "star," which she says rhymes with "car," she tells Nora it's her turn, but she doesn't want to, without any actual reason explained.

At lunch, they are playing "I spy." Lily spies something that starts with M. Timothy guesses his milk, but that's not it. Fritz guesses the mayonnaise on his sandwich, but that's not it either. The same results go for Charles's macaroni. Timothy asks Nora if she wants to guess, but she declines. Timothy then decides there's nothing left to guess. Fritz gives up too. The answer was Lily's muffin, but she ate it, leaving only crumbs. Then Fritz spies something starting with C. Charles (whose name does start with C, but it is not said) guesses it's his cupcake. Fritz says no. The Franks guess "beans and franks," which they guess every time. Timothy adds that "beans" starts not with C, but with B. Doris guesses her carrots. Charles guesses his cracker. But Fritz says no to each of those. Doris gives up. Fritz decides he knew nobody would get it, but Lily guesses it's the crumbs on her napkin, much to Fritz's (what's the feeling?), wondering how she guessed. Charles tells Nora it's her turn, but she refuses, claiming she's too busy eating.

Soon, they are going to the library. Nora likes going to the library. Neither Timothy nor Fritz have gone to the library without either of their parents. Mrs. Jenkins assures them Mrs. Lightfoot will give them their own library cards. This amazes the Franks. When Mrs. Jenkins says it means they'll get to pick out their own books to read, everyone is excited but Nora.

At the library, the children are given a tour, ending by far with the "Science and Nature" books. Doris asks if there are books on spiders, and Mrs. Lightfoot says there are several, much to Doris's shock. Mrs. Lightfoot tells them to line up to give them their library cards, but Nora doesn't want to. Upon being told this after getting his card, Timothy promises to bring it every time he visits. Fritz, Doris, and Lily get theirs. Mrs. Jenkins persuades Nora to get in line to get her card. She reluctantly does and thanks Mrs. Lightfoot. The Franks get stacks of library books, so high neither one knows where they are going, accidentally bumping into each other. Instead of looking at any books, Nora spins a globe. She refuses to get any books, saying she'd rather spin the globe, and that she can't find any books she likes. She admits her feelings and reason, but not before having Timothy promise not to tell anyone. Timothy doesn't get why learning how to read would mean no more being read to ever again.

Nora returns home to see her mother vacuuming and brings her a picture of herself flying a kite. Nora's mother tells her to be careful not to let that kite carry her away, to Nora's amusement. Nora's mother is kind of disappointed to hear Nora say she didn't borrow any books. When Nora explains her problem with reading, her mother says that learning how to read won't stop her from reading to her, as she (her mother) would miss out on reading together just as much as Nora herself would. So Nora decides she and her mother would take turns reading to each other, to her approval. So she offers to read to Nora, much to Nora's approval. This is being done.

Trivia

At least two unseen and unmentioned instruments begin with L: lyre and lute.

"Beans" and "franks" do not start with C, or even either sound the letter C would make, including the "ch" sound it makes with H.


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