“We have an obligation to read aloud to our children.”
If you are tuning in to this post, please note that this is a part two to my post on Sunday. Please click here to catch up!
This past month I read Holes by Louis Sachar to our summer campers. I loved having the opportunity to introduce this book and a read aloud experience to this group of kids!
In my last post I described one session where a child eagerly awaited the answer to the mystery of the “KB” initials. After the book revealed that the mysterious monogram belongs to (fictional) famous outlaw, Kissin Kate Barlow, and the reading session complete for the day, the campers behaved as one does at the end of a season of Game of Thrones: I must know more!
The next couple chapters in the book are about Kissin Kate. After reading about her origin story, a couple of the kids asked to make wanted posters of Kissin Kate to hang around the classroom! As we were working on our posters, I mentioned to the group that when we completed the book we would be able to watch the movie.
The responses I got surprised me:
“Wait, Holes is a movie too?” “We can watch the book?”
“Movies come from books?”
“Movies come from books.” I had never really realized that some children may not know this. There are so many people, both kids and adults that live in the world of movies (myself included). Many movies made available for children to watch with just a click of a button, but what about the source from which the movie was made?
I know that I have always been someone who strives to read the book before seeing the movie. I love being able to see what I imagined come to life, and also have to chance to compare the two mediums. Of course, I typically find that the book is always better than the movie. But there are a lot of movies that get the story right! And I believe that Disney’s Holes is one of them.
I screened the movie before showing it to the kids and was pleased to be reminded how similar the movie was to the book. I was excited to be able to show this movie to my kids with the confidence that the movie would not ruin the book we had just spent so much time enjoying together.
When I read a book before seeing the movie I get this sort of confidence when walking into the theatre. I think, “I hold the secrets to the story. I know what is going to happen!” And a good movie, aware that some have read the book first, presents these secrets in a way that enhance the book rather than hurt it.
When we started the movie, after completing the book of course, I loved listening to the kids’ reactions. “Oh wow! This is just like I imagined it!” One girl said. “That must be Mr. Sir, look he’s eating sunflowers seeds just like in the book!” said another.
My summer campers really enjoyed watching Holes. But I believe the movie watching experience was made so much more meaningful because we first read the book together. I know that I have said in previous posts that reading together creates bonds. Reading a good book with a child will be a memory that keeps with them as they grow up and hopefully read books with the kids in their lives.
So, here is my goal for all grownups with kids in their lives: Read with your children.
Find the books that the movies were based on and read the book first! Before I close off on this post, I have compiled a small list of books to movies that I think are great!
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The Harry Potter Series by J. K Rowling
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
What movies from books do you enjoy? What movies from books do you think totally tanked? What are your thoughts on the books and movies listed above? Let me know! Leave a comment!
And now I will leave you with this wonderful mandate from Neil Gaiman:
“We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read to them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. Use reading-aloud time as bonding time, as time when no phones are being checked, when the distractions of the world are put aside.”