1. Once again, I have no post. I’m doing dreadfully at reading aloud… Evening is our time for reading, and things have crowded in every night for the past week. I am a true read-aloud degenerate this week.

    As far as your questions, I have mixed feelings about abridgments and movie adaptations. Certain books I would only read in “pure form” — George MacDonald, CS Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder… But my girls have had some abridgments of classics for school — Tale of Two Cities, Black Ships before Troy, etc. — and the theory is that they will be less intimidated by them later if they’re familiar with them now. I have no problem with that. But I do hate it when Hollywood gets ahold of a children’s story and feels they need to “spice it up” with adult themes. I distrust the commercial instinct.

    Yes, I’ve abandoned books I didn’t like. ‘The Hobbit’ is the first to come to mind… I just wasn’t in the mood to wade through it with the girls once we started it. Older Daughter still brings it up as unfinished business, so one of these days I’m going to have to brace myself and just do it!

  2. Oh! OOOH! DO show them the Disney cartoon classic!

    Re: Abridged works. I used to think I was a purist but now I’m not so much. Take Narnia for example – I’m feeding Bookworm1 way watered down materials but that’s in part because I want to take him on this journey so badly and I don’t feel he’s old enough for the original stories quite yet. Instead I read each story with as much feeling and gusto as I can give it, to excite him to learn more as he grows up.

    Disney movies. Well, in the case of Peter Pan I was NOT a fan of the original story and so I do’nt mind the Disneyfication of it. I think it’s cute. And fun. And so I don’t mind handing that over first.

    Now, if it comes to a classic like Les Mis or something, then I think it’s cheating to read anything less than the complete work – otherwise I don’t feel like you can claim to have really read it. The new watered down versions of some of the classics? I really dislike those a great deal.

    So…I guess I’m with Janet – I have mixed feelings.

  3. That’s interesting that your kids would not allow you to give up on Peter Pan. As for as the Disney version, I think it is fun to compare and contrast the stories and since they’ve heard the original, I don’t see any harm in introducing them to the movie version.

  4. Wow! I just stumbled upon your blog while surfing the web. WHAT A COOL BLOG. Seriously, I could spend all day reading it.

    I also love your idea for a Read Aloud Thursday. I think I will start jumping in. My children are very young, but I read to them almost constantly. So I will be including my thoughts on a lot of the picture books.

    To answer your questions:
    1) I am torn on the movie / adaptation thing. Some books are quite good when brought to TV. For example, do you remember the Anne of Green Gables series that they showed on PBS? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_of_Green_Gables_%281985_film%29) I quite liked that. On the other hand, some adaptation are terrible. Like the recent Narnia movie. (Boo!)

    2)Yes, I have quit a book just because I didn’t like it. Recently I quit reading The Trumpeter of Krakow. I only made it two chapters in before quitting. So perhaps it would have gotten better if I stuck it out. However, I just didn’t care for the authors style. I wasn’t enjoying my time reading. I was just going to read it for the sake of finishing. But then I decided that I do enough things “because I have to” and reading wasn’t going to be one of them.

  5. Well now I guess I will have to go read Peter Pan in the original just to see what you mean.

    To answer your questions – I am always hesitant to see an adaptation/movie of a favorite book for fear of what they will do to it but I always do and use it as an opportunity to compare and contrast. “Is that how you imagined the character?”

    As for quitting – if I am reading on my own sure but if I am reading to Froggy and she wants to continue I grit my teeth and persevere.

  6. I have to admit that Peter Pan is not a favorite of mine (Tinker Bell really irritates me), but my kids love it. They have listened to this 3 or 4 times and are just as happy to listen to the book as they are watching the Disney film.

  7. +JMJ+

    I recently reread Peter Pan for my own pleasure and absolutely loved it! The last two chapters were a little painful for me to read, however, and I found myself putting it off for several days.

    In more relevant news, my little brothers are I are almost done with our Encyclopedia Brown reading. They’re starting to solve the mysteries for themselves with a minimum of prompting from me, and I think they wouldn’t mind continuing, should we ever decide to return to Idaville.

    I wish so much that they were the kind of readers who would also like something like Barrie’s novel, but, alas, our next read is already the boy-approved Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. =P Which isn’t really a bad thing, I know. I mean, it has flying kids, right? 😉

    PS–I found you through Semicolon’s Saturday Review of Books.

  8. I have never read Peter Pan, but I can see reading abridged versions of books to my kids if it makes them easier to understand. I do prefer unabridged for myself though.

    Nancy @ 5MinutesforBooks.com

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