Thursday, June 11, 2009

Moving Pages or Moving Pictures?

Time to clarify: Not everything my children read is disturbing.

Despite my protestations as late, the vast majority of the time, I'm ecstatic with their accelerated reading---and comprehension.

Last summer, as students entering the first grade, Sarah and Darren were at long last eligible to participate in Barnes & Noble's annual summer reading program. The program premise is simple: read and make some basic notes on eight books during the school hiatus and the li'l reader gets to select a book from the bonus table at summer's end for free.

At the conclusion of the 2008 program, Darren (then 6), honed right in on Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux. Always a sucker for golden award medallions on covers myself, I asked Darren if he thought perhaps the book---all 267 pages of it---might be for "bigger/older" kids. He assured me he was ready and this one was his choice.

Sarah was interested too, so we decided it would be our nighttime reading until we finished it. Darren was 100% right; it was the perfect selection.

Flash forward nearly 10 months---to just before this past Monday's (postponed from Sunday) Despereaux on-demand Family Movie Night.

Sarah: "You know what's better about books than movies? In the book, you get to imagine how everybody and everything looks."

Amen, Sister.

We all adored the movie, but as any family of reviewing snobs worth their salt would say, the book was better. [We recommend both.]
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Missy said...

Sara is wise beyond her years! (Wait, I have said that before like hmm, 100 times!) Seriously, she is! I am so beyond thankful that my girls are budding book lovers too! They are still at the 'not-reading age" but to hear the stories that they imagine by viewing the pictures are awesome!

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

What a smart little girl!

Christy said...

Sarah's awesome.

Maternal Mirth said...

That what *I* love books! I am so glad they are true readers! I can only imagine what it would be like to get my 11YO to read anything other than 'Wimpy Kid' or 'Captain Underpants' series... but this month, I am forcing him to read 'Henry Huggins' and 'The Witches'. Maybe Despereaux wouldn't be a bad idea ... use the movie for the reward :o)

Dana said...

I love your children. That is all..

Thanks for the idea I am going to read it to my kids next year. I am always looking for good chapter books.

monica said...

Wow your children are so rounded and wonderful! What a smart girl Sarah is.

BoufMom9 said...

What a smart little girl you have!

That is exactly why my kids, even my oldest, still love for us to all sit together and I read to them from some of my favorite stories.

Dawn said...

She's got it exactly right!

I feel I have to chase my oldest two around while reading to their backs! They are 7 and 5 year old boys but in the past several months I have managed to finish reading Winni the Pooh and Desperaux to them (another coincidence here, two days running!).

Dawn said...

One more comment: there was one time I liked the movie better than the book, and that was for The Notebook.

Bia said...

I am going to have to read this book . . . you're the 537th person that has mentioned it.

Dianna said...

EXCELLENT!!!!!! It took me years to convince Abby of that .... and she agreed with me, until Twilight. Darn that Robert Pattinson!

Jen B. said...

Thanks for recommending it! Hannah & Emma are involved in our library's summer reading program & that would be a good one for Hannah. She's been trying to read Twilight but I don't think she'll have it finished anytime soon! Maybe this one would be a little more on her level & a good one for the whole family to enjoy!