Entries in Roald Dahl (1)

Sunday
Mar072010

movies based on books

Last Christmas, our good friends, N+G, gave June29 the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. It was his first big kid chapter book and boy was he skeptical. No colorful pictures? So many pages? Read one chapter at a time? This was new territory as far as books were concerned.

But, oh, how he relished it. He ate up the words with his expressions, drew in breaths of suspense, laughed outloud and questioned endlessly. The few pictures in the book he studied over and over. Many times I caught him watching me wide-eyed and incredulously, savoring every word. It made me realize that without the pictures in a picture book, there wasn't much for him to look at except words he couldn't read, so he studied the source. He studied me.

We didn't read the book every day. Sometimes we'd skip a day or two or a week. But every time we returned he remembered details about the last chapter we read. Details I easily forgot.

Finishing the book was an occasion in itself. He felt triumphant. Afterwards, we rented Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the movie. (The Johnny Depp version, of course.) I'd rather watch movie adaptations after I've read the book, and what better time to introduce this concept to him? 

Just like the book, he loved the movie even more. He talked in detail about how things depicted in the book were the same as in the movie, and how they were different. By reading the book, he imagined the possibilities. By watching the movie, those possibilities became real. Whether they were based on his reality or not, it didn't matter. It was cool just the same.

Now he wants to read another chapter book-turned-movie. And me? I'm happy to oblige.

 

[Thanks N+G for starting us on this new tradition.]