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?

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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!

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Happy Reading!

The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime

Buddha

Here one of my favorite books! I came across this fantastic book of short tales of kindness when I was searching for a way to teach my two boys (ages 6 and 8 at the time) about compassion. It took me a while to find just the right book and here it is!

The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime has 18 magical stories that really speak to children’s senses with such descriptive settings and characters.  The book begins with a few short sections for the adult reader explaining about the principles of Buddhism, meditation, and storytelling.

I like how each story begins with “Relax, close your eyes and imagine…” It helps bring the child into the space of listening and truly taking in the meaning of the story. Each one also has a small morale that encourages discussion. This is the one from my son’s favorite story Tim and Grandpa Joe “It’s easy to blow problems out of proportion when we only focus on our feelings. When we take care of others, as well as ourselves, everyone benefits and problems become opportunities.”

At the end of the book it provides you with some simple guided meditations. This can be a fun introduction to intentionally pausing during your busy day and spending and relaxing with your child.