Movies of Books

Tonight my boys and I went out to the movies and we saw Alice Through the Looking Glass.

As we were sitting watching the previews I was struck by how many books are becoming popular movies. Coincidentally this weekend my sister sent me a text that she found our favorite childhood series The Box Car Children on DVD.

I have to be honest, I’m not quite sure on my stance on this trend. I almost always prefer the book over the movie however I do admit that it is interesting to watch a different perspective of childhood classic literature. I remember reading and loving Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It has been MANY years since I was brought back into wonderland and I really enjoyed tonight’s movie. I sat back remember the way the books played out in my young imagination and how they really came alive through cinematography, acting, and music on the big screen.

 

We also saw a preview of the BFG- if you read one of my early posts from this winter you will know this is a favorite in our house. Even now we are reading the book Holes and the boys are excited to rent (yes we do have to rent-aka borrow from our local library) the movie once we finish the book.

So part of me, the purist book lover, feels that no way, we should always read the book and stick with that. But today when  my 9 year old looked up from the film and asked if we can get the book I thought, why yes, I guess this is okay. If the movie is good that can make a child want to also read the book, I am good with that.

I would love to hear what you think about movies of books.

Happy reading… and watching?

When My Son’s Fish Died

I have a hard time getting attached to living things. I am sensitive and am an over thinker. This is one of the main reasons that I did NOT want to let my kids get small animals, especially fish. Fish aren’t known to have a great life cycle and there are lots of things that can go wrong when owning fish. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals. We already have two dogs and a cat.  My eldest son really really wanted a pet of his own and loved the idea of having a fish in his bedroom. We set up an agreement on what responsibilities he would need to show before I would consider it. A few months later after some hard work and growth on his part I gave in. We now had three pretty fish in our home.

Related image

About a month into being a fish owner my son went on a week long vacation with his Mimi. Left in charge of these three fish who will remain unnamed, I had a bad feeling. You don’t even have to guess what happened. Yes, half way through his vacation somehow the fish got a disease and two of the three passed away. My youngest son and I cried and said a prayer as we flushed away the sad little creatures. My husband and I decided we would wait for our son to come home to tell him the sad news. I was so worried how he would take it. After shedding quite a few tears I decided I needed to prepare so I went to the library. Here are three great books that I found that can be helpful for kids (and their oversensitive mothers): When a Pet Dies, Let’s Talk About When Your Pet Dies, and The Goodbye Book.

   

Before my eldest was scheduled to come home I made sure to read them with my youngest and we both found solace in the simple and comforting words. I was ready.

The day arrived and on the drive home from the airport we broke the news and I had my bag of books on the ready- my tone was gentle and arms open ready for cuddles. I was surprised with what happened….

In a voice much like Charlie Brown’s signature “Good Grief” he said “Oh, Mom!” rolled his eyes and asked if I was OK. While letting out both a sign of relief and a laugh because I should have known my logical, practical little boy understood the nature of fish and although he was bummed, that was just it. Not a huge ordeal, just part of life. I wish I had some of his strength and ability to rationalize.

That being said, he did read the books and enjoyed a little chuckle at my sensitivity.

Happy Reading!

Back in College

I happened to have a meeting at my alma mater and was a bit early so I decided to spend some time in the library.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that while browsing in the children’s literature section I came across this great book: My Uncle Emily by Jane Yolen illustrated by Nancy Carpenter.

As an undergrad I majored in English and took quite a few poetry and women’s literature courses. I loved poetry and felt such a great connection with Dickinson. I remember working part time at the local grocery store and reading Emily Dickinson’s Collected Poems on my breaks.

It’s been over a decade since I sat in this very library reading poetry however I immediately was transported to my days as a literature scholar. While reading through this story of Emily Dickinson’s nephew I was transformed to the days of inspiration, and time to explore authors on such a deep level. Surrounded by books with so much time to spend on contemplation and research. Spending time with such amazing educators with such passion and knowledge. It brought me back to the excitement and eagerness of my early twenties.

As the words on the page come alive through the story they also connect the threads to memories of places and times within my own live. The power of books can come alive in illustrations, messages, morals, historical tales, and even memories.

It makes me think how how many things we read for: to learn something, for enjoyment, because we have to, want to, to become inspired, to laugh, to cry, to remember. What an amazing journey the reader can embark as they open a book. So many places you can be led, so many doors that can be opened, such power, such joy that all starts with a word!

IMG_0046

Happy Reading!

Lost in a Book

This weekend I was away at a conference for work and had the opportunity to explore the little town in which we were staying. My friend and I wandered into a quaint gift shop with shelves overflowing with beautiful trinkets. Of course I gravitated towards the small book shelf and picked up a new eye catching book:

This is the first children’s book I have come across that focuses on a tattoo so of course I had to stop and read it through.

I don’t know if this has happened to you but as I opened the cover I immediately became so engrossed in the incredibly sweet story a father is telling his son. I truly became so involved in the story that once I came to the last page I was startled to look around me and realize that time had momentarily stopped.

What an incredible feeling to be so drawn in that the world seems to stop and all that exists is you and the story. In this book a little boy is asking his father about his tattoos and the stories that go along with each one. Each tattoo paints a picture of an important time in the father’s life that culminates to the last and favored tattoo- the one that symbolizes the birth of his son.

 

Let me tell you, there is nothing like a great Dad story to bring tears to my eyes. Especially a story that can take me away, draw me into the pages, and carry me across the bridge of the author’s perspective and into my own interpretation. It’s not every book that takes you to this place, but when one does, it’s such an amazing feeling and so good that you just have to share!

 

Wishing you lots of love in your reading!