Monday, February 13, 2012

Bedtime Stories: Movies, Milo and Magic

All of my best laid plans for spectacular posts about the books Z and I have been reading at bedtime have been put off too long and I have a large stack of review books here that just need to be gotten through. So, in lieu of something truly fun, you get this -- ::wink::

Three years ago, when Z was in preschool, I happened to read The Invention of Hugo Cabret and I loved it. Brian Selznick found a way to take something that many kids might find boring, the story of Georges Méliès, an automaton and the beginning of motion pictures, and make it truly fascinating and wonderful through words and drawings. Now, with the release of the film Hugo, I decided that it was time for Z and I to read the book together. He doesn't want to see any more movies in 3D so we'll be waiting for the dvd before we see the film -- but, we will definitely be waiting with anticipation because Z loved the book! Right after we finished reading it together, it happened to be Georges Méliès' 150th birthday (December 8) and Z was really excited to celebrate it. Recently, we enjoyed watching a small part of the newly colorized and scored A Trip to the Moon (Le voyage dans la lune), with a soundtrack by French electronic band Air. Not only is he interested in these original films but he is also enjoying learning a bit of French!

The next book we read was one that I loved when I first read it in the sixth grade -- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. With this being the 50th anniversary of this amazing book, I was excited to experience it again through a fresh perspective. This was a fantastic choice and Z and I both loved reading it together! Between the word play and the adventures, I think we've found a book we can enjoy over and over through the years.

Finally, we chose a book that was new to both of us -- Half Magic by Edward Eager. Written in 1954, this is the first in a series of the adventures of children who come into contact with various magical items. Again, we had a fun time with this book and will look for more of Edward Eager's books. He has a certain way of writing that treats kids honestly and with faith in their abilities to take care of themselves. They aren't perfect and they make mistakes but they are also able to learn and have a bit of fun along the way.

So now we're keeping our perfect record intact by reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, another guaranteed good read.

Spending every night in the best places possible,
K and Z


  1. My family all went to see Hugo back in December, not in 3D. There were 2 or 3 of us that had read the book, while the others hadn't. Now, I really want everyone else to read the book, but I wonder how it will work for them having seen the movie first...

  2. I tried Phantom Tollbooth with my son but he wasn't quite ready for it so I didn't want to push it. I need to check out Hugo Cabret!!

  3. Glad you and Z liked Phantom Tollbooth and Half Magic! Are you going to read the other Edward Eager books? They are good! Not the two ones without magic, so much, but all the others. The one about Ivanhoe is amazing.

  4. How fun! I wonder what would have happened if my parents were readers. They used to read to us, but where they were not big readers themselves we missed out on the classic books of the time. One day I might just have to go back myself and read some of them. :)

  5. Amanda - I am glad we read the book first. I think that it's a quiet story in many ways and it looks like the movie is very spiced up with action.

    Jenners - That was good not to push it. You don't want him to dislike it because you were too early with it! Z is a huge fan of words and spelling and so I knew he would get a kick out of it. That said, I'm sure there were still a million things that went over his head. More for him to discover the next time he reads it!

    Jenny - I think that Z would definitely be up for more Edward Eager. We loved his writing!

    Kailana - My mom and dad didn't read that much but it was more a lack of time than a lack of desire. So we were taken to the library regularly and I got through a lot of books that way. Still, I feel like I missed out on a lot of books anyway!

  6. Thank you for this! I am trying to read more with my kids now that my youngest is old enough to read some of the same books as my oldest. I already had Selznick on my list (love him!) but hadn't thought of Tollbooth or heard of the other. We are making our way through the Chocolate Factory right now. ;)

  7. I also loved very much The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and I thought the 3D movie was a perfect adaptation.
    here is my review:
    have you read Wonderstruck? also very good:

  8. Heather - What a fun place to be in -- finding books to read together as a family! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is never a bad choice. :)

    Emma - I can't wait to see the film now! And we have Wonderstruck but haven't read it yet.

  9. I've been wanting to read Hugo! Need to get on that! And, love the Phantom Tollbooth! As for Half Magic, this is one I need to explore! Thanks!

  10. Tif - It's big but it's such a quick read so don't be intimidated! And you would love Half Magic. :)

  11. Thanks for the recommendations. We need to head to the library and get some books for our two-week Spring Break that starts tomorrow. Just curious why Z doesn't want to see any more 3D movies. J.D. recently had the chance to go see Star Wars in 3D (he's already seen it at home) and decided he didn't want to see it in 3D, but would rather watch the DVD at home. Not quite sure why.

  12. Jody - Z doesn't like 3D movies because he got sick during one last year. I think it was probably because it was the last day of school and he was anxious/stressed but he thinks it was the movie. Maybe J.D. feels sick during them? I get headaches so I'm not entirely disappointed that Z doesn't want to go to them either. And a two-week Spring Break? Yikes!