Welcome to Title Talk, 05.2018. You might remember, I started this year hoping to participate in 3 reading challenges. Silly me, what was I thinking? As we approach the half-way point of the year, I am only reading books for 2 of them. Have abandoned the third one completely. Barely hanging in on those two. Life keeps encroaching on my reading time. And when I do find myself with a few quiet moments, I haven’t been able to focus.
For now, I am still reading books that follow the Book Girl Magic reading challenge prompts. As you can see below, our prompt for May was to read a book with a woman heroine. Which is what a heroine would be. A woman.
Except in the case of Matilda, the book I chose to read, in which the heroine is a little girl. Decided to use children’s books for the prompts in this challenge since 1 adult book is about all this librarian can read a month. And I am reading all grown-up books for the Book by Book challenge.
BOOK GIRL MAGIC READING CHALLENGE, 05.2018
Did you ever have a teacher who, by reading a book aloud to the class, could make the characters come alive and the story seem like something you were watching on a big screen in the classroom? I have had the pleasure to work with several teachers like that. In each case, these teachers sometimes selected books to read aloud with their students that I thought the kids would never sit still long enough to get through. Nancy read Mr. Popper’s Penguins. I think it was Susan who read Matilda, and Lorena read Amelia Bedelia. After finishing those books with their students, I would have a run in the library for those titles or others by the same author. Books I thought to be too old and outdated, and irrelevant to today’s children were given a new lease on life! Couldn’t keep them on the shelves for months afterward. That’s just one of the magical qualities of a good teacher!!
In Search of a Hero(ine)
I turned to Amazon to help me decide on a book with a little girl heroine, and Matilda popped up. I knew something of the story already because the movie version of Roald Dahl’s book, had been shown in bits and pieces, in the library during P.E. on inclement weather days. The children always loved it. But I had considered weeding the book from the collection, and many of Dahl’s other titles (with the exception of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), because the books were written in British English. My students struggled enough to learn American English. Most of my students would have found comprehending the humor and the fifth grade reading level very difficult.
Read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach by Dahl as a child, myself. Loved them. Loved how they took me to impossible, imaginary places just like Alice and Wonderland had. This month, the child in this 60 year-old grandma thoroughly enjoyed listening to Kate (“The Titanic”) Winslet’s narration of this rollicking, romp of a read.
I’ve been listening to Matilda on my morning walks, as I iron, and continue with spring cleaning. The book and Kate Winslet’s lively narration have made even these dull tasks enjoyable. However, walking around the block, chuckling out loud to myself, has probably earned me more than a few questioning looks from neighbors. But it’s been totally worth their mumblings and sideways stares.
Looking for something fun to share with your children this summer? Try the Audible version of Matilda. Readers of all ages will find themselves cheering on this young heroine in her quest for what is right and honorable. Then follow it up with the movie starring Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman. Perfect way to kick off summer.
So, with Title Talk, 05.2018, that’s another month down! Do you have a favorite book with a heroine? Did you read any of Roald Dahl’s books as a child? Maybe you’ve seen the Johnny Depp movie version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Or, the one with Gene Wilder. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. So. Good. If you enjoyed any of those, you will love Matilda. Maybe you can bring this story to life for a child you love. Or visit my other Book Girl Magic posts, here, to find suggestions for other terrific children’s books.
Heading to Albuquerque tomorrow and then flying with Lucia and Lauren to Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon. Lauren has her first appointment at the Cleveland Clinic at 7 am on Wednesday. Not sure what my Internet connectivity will be or how much time I will have for blogging. But will be home Saturday, 05.26, I hope, and back on track.
Enjoy a restful long weekend. Happy Memorial Day!
Hugs and kisses,