Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kidlit Trio: The Traveling Restaurant, Origami Yoda and How to Train Your Dragon

Z and I read The Traveling Restaurant: Jasper's Voyage in Three Parts by Barbara Else as a bedtime story. It's a book out of New Zealand and it's quite unique. Jasper Ludlow is a relatable young boy, even as he's being pursued across seas, river and land by a corrupt ruler, pirates, seagulls and a reporter with questionable allegiance. The Traveling Restaurant itself is a boat that just might have a bit of magic onboard, even if it just helps them choose the right menu at each port of call. But in a world where "magic" is a forbidden word, it's enough to place its crew in danger -- and when the fugitive Jasper comes onboard, they're in for a wild ride.
While much of this adventure was exciting and unique, it started to get a bit repetitive toward the end and some of the writing was awkward and terse, especially as I was reading it aloud. Still, Z and I had some fun with this book.

A book that both of us highly enjoyed at bedtime was How to Train Your Dragon: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup the Viking by Cressida Cowell. We're huge fans of the film version (which could barely even be said to be loosely based on the book but it's amazing in its own right) and Z has owned the book for a while but I don't think he ever read it from back to front. But when we finally sat down together with it, we loved every minute with the inept but bright Hiccup and his friends. Even the vain and combative dragons were amusing in their own way. And the massive villainous dragons from the bottom of the ocean--The Green Death and The Purple Death--were amazing and unexpected. I hope that we can keep reading this series together (which looks like it's up to nine books now).

One that we didn't read together was The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. I bought it for Z a few months ago but just finally got around to reading it for the 100 Chapter Book Read-Along. It turns out that it's perhaps still a bit older than Z is ready for. I don't think he is ready to understand the angst of school dances, the cliques that form in the lunchroom or the strange dynamics of upper grade friendships. Though third graders may want to pick up this book because of the fun cover, they'll probably just want to make their own origami Yoda (as Z did) until they have a bit more life experience.

I have to say that I'm appreciative that Z likes reading chapter books together before bed each night. It's a special time for the two of us and I'm glad we have it. I have to say that I'm also glad that we can find books to read together that we both enjoy!

Making the most of it all,
K

9 comments:

  1. I haven't Origami Yoda yet but I will someday. I think it's great that you've found books that you and Z can read together. I'm reading The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Happy reading.

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    1. Luckily there are SO many books that we can find good ones to enjoy together probably until he decides we can't read together anymore!

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  2. Reading with my parents is one of my best memories of growing up - can't wait to start doing it with my kids!

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    1. I don't have any memories like that so I'm glad that Z will! It'll be a new family tradition.

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  3. You are lucky--my son want s nothing to do with reading together because "I can do it myself." Harrumph.

    He listened to the audio version of the dragon book and enjoyed it.

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    1. That's how Z was when he was little. He refused to let me even look at any of his books. But when he figured out that he could stay up a bit later if he let me read to him, he got onboard. :)

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  4. We just picked up How to Train a Dragon a couple weeks ago! I can't wait to read that one with my son! We are huge fans of the movie and are eagerly awaiting the second one to be released!!

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    1. I need to start buying the rest of the series because we love it. And the movie is so awesome. We watch it way too much. :)

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