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Retired teacher Diana Purucker reads to young children during the regular story time event at Ink Spell books in alf Moon Bay. Emma Spaeth / Review

Kids sat restlessly on the floor as Diana Purucker opened the first book, “Swimming,” an illustrated book about fish and finding friends. 

Purucker read at weekly story time at Ink Spell Books for the third time on Aug. 7. She is no stranger to young children. She retired from Farallone View Elementary School in June after 27 years as a teacher. 

“I absolutely loved my career all the way up to the last day,” said Purucker.

Ink Spell has been hosting a weekly story time every week for 12 years. 

The story time and the former teacher are a perfect match. Purucker was looking for an opportunity to still teach and spend time with kids in her retirement. “I knew that I would miss kids and I love Ink Spell and everything Cindi does for all the schools. Her support of kids and reading is amazing,” Purucker said.

“Cindi” is Ink Spell owner Cindi Whittemore, who says anyone in the community can ask to be a story time reader.

Purucker enjoys spending time with the kids and encouraging reading. She says the most difficult part is finding the right books. “I’m not used to this age group, but I’ll learn it, and Ink Spell has so many new and different books every week,” said Purucker.

Fifteen kids from around the community sang along as Purucker read from classics like “Wheels on the Bus.” “Pretty soon it’ll be school time and a lot of kids will be getting on the bus!” said Purucker. 

Whittemore is happy to have Purucker helping out with story time. “We are so excited that she has come here,” Whittemore said. 

“She is just a joy and a blessing anywhere she goes.” Purucker doesn’t have any big plans for her retirement, but she’s looking forward to having more free time to travel. 

She takes walks every day, and she and her husband just took a trip down to Santa Cruz, where they have a cabin in the mountains. 

“I built this beautiful life and I want to have time to enjoy it,” said Purucker. 

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