Friday, February 12, 2010

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

There is no denying I'm a bibliophile. So I love the idea of introducing my kids to books. And now that they're getting a little bit older I am anxious to delve into the chapter books I adored as a child - as well as all the great new classics.

Unfortunately, my eldest has not been interested. He complains if there is not a picture on every page. He will listen to two or three chapters and then put a book aside for three months without asking for it. If we suggest returning to the book he complains and picks out a picture book. He's 6, he's justified. It will change eventually.

For Christmas, Eldest got the Roald Dahl box set. I know many of the titles although I never read any of them myself. Last month Eldest picked out Fantastic Mr. Fox - based purely on the fact that he had heard of the movie. He thoroughly enjoyed it, in part because Dahl's books have enough pictures to satisfy him but enough text to tell a real story. After finishing it he told me he no longer needs a picture on every page. He has not yet asked to see the film - which we won't see until he's a bit older. (It was not my favorite story, but I was thrilled to see him getting into a longer book.)

Three days ago he brought me Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We curled up and read the first two chapters. He liked it. That night dad read chapters 3 and 4. Again, he sat quietly and listened. Over the next couple of days we read the next few chapters.

Yesterday he and I were still stuck inside thanks to the everlasting snowstorm. I suggested he bring his book down. We curled up on the couch and I started reading. We got through chapter 10 and I kept going. In chapter 11 Charlie finds the Golden Ticket. Eldest's legs began to twitch. Then they began to bounce. When Charlie found the ticket Eldest jumped up and gave me a giant hug. "Keep reading, keep reading, keep reading!"

His next questions, "What time do we have to pick up Youngest? Can we read until then?"

At bedtime last night we started Chapter 17. This morning I woke up to Eldest standing over me grinning with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory thrust in my direction.

Thank you Roald Dahl!


Kelly Jane Dahl said...

You brought some tears to my eyes as I picture his long and lean legs twitching in excitement. What joy!

I would love any other suggestions for Chapter books. C is into it, but I can't seem to be able to come up with good titles. He doesn't do scary or suspenseful very well.

g.n.a.t. said...

Have you tried the Flat Stanley series? Those have been popular here. They're short with plenty of pictures but a good intro to longer stories.

We have also liked some of the classic Beverly Cleary. Henry Huggins is one of her few series about a boy. The stories are very innocent and not scary.

Magic Tree House is the series I hear recommended most often. But if he's not comfortable with suspenseful yet I might hold off on those for awhile. They're suspenseful in a 5 year old way but have lots of monsters and bad guys.

Kelly Jane Dahl said...

I actually was looking at the Beverly Clearys and think that might be a good way to go -- Henry Huggins, Mouse and the Motorcycle. We've done a few Magic Treehouse and end up reading them in one sitting. He does get turned off from the covers though...too scary and he just gets too anxious with the suspenseful chapter endings to put it down. We started James and the Giant Peach, but could tell it was a little creepy for him. I will have to check out Flat Stanley. Coop has the attention span, but the subject matter is delicate.