On a whim one night a few weeks ago, I picked up ‘Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone’ and suggested we try it as a bedtime story. After several explanations of a) why there were no pictures, b) why the book was so long and c) that there were movies they’d be allowed to watch after we finished each book, the boys hesitantly agreed.
Well, since then we have been on a wizarding tear. C was instantly sold. He would beg me for another chapter, practiced the spells Harry was learning and started turning everythng is site into a wand. M was more skeptical, the lack of pictures was a serious hurdle for Ms. Rowling to overcome (the first page of a new chapter is our favorite). We’ve compromised on M being able to pick a book to be read along with our evening HP selection. (For example, tonight I got to read Dr. Seuss’s ‘If I Ran the Zoo…’ before the next chapter of ‘Order of the Phoenix.’ Nothing like tongue twisters before a book of magic…)
The HP mania has not quite reached our earlier Star Wars mania, but we are trying our best. C is going to be Harry for Halloween (originally C was going to be Ron and M would be Harry. M then decided to the Flash (huh?) and now he is going as a ninja). Both boys have wands, we have the Lego Harry Potter game for the Wii and I think the boys have watched the first four movies about 20 times each. C stills begs for extra chapters at bed time. The first time we watch the next movie (only after finishing the book), it is a family event. All four of us have to be home, we set up the living room like a movie theatre and have dinner and a movie.
I have been amazed at both of their retention of the stories. K was skeptical that the boys had any idea what was going on in any given story arc, but we’ve both been pleasantly surprised at the details they pick up and remember. In fact, theyve both become highly critical of the movies changing things from the books or leaving out critical scenes (such a the Ton Tongue Toffee…). Nothing beats having them both be excited about reading (okay, me reading, but it’s a start) and loving watching them absorb the story, characters and plot.
I do wish, however, that the Killing Curse wasn’t sent flying around the house quite so often.