The kids are really excited to watch The Guardians at the movies. I have to admit it does actually look pretty good (as far as suffering through children's movies go). I did not know it, but it is a book series. I have this thing reading books before watching movies. I think that it drives the kids a little crazy, but that's just how I roll. To me, the book is usually better than the movie, and I like to compare them. When we read Harry Potter and then watch the movie I really like to ask the kids how the movie compares to the book. Did the characters look and sound the way they did in your mind? I know I'm a nerd.... I think that I may have already shared this fact with you.
The kids were pretty excited to begin a Christmas activity. I made them all hot chocolate, and snuggled them in blankets. We then settled in for our read, The Guardians; Book One - Nicholas St. North and The Battle of the Nightmare King. The books are written by William Joyce and Laura Geringer. As I began to read, the style of writing seemed like an older author. By older author what I mean is I expected the books to have been written in the early 1900's, but it was written in 2011. The writing is really excellent, it's very vivid, it's really smart.
"Looking wildly up at the sky, Pitch sniffed the air in ecstasy. With one shrug and a toss of his midnight cloak, he blotted out the Moon. He crouched down and dug his fingers into the earth, letting the scents of the surrounding forest reach into his searching brain. He was ravenous, overwhelmed by a fiery hunger that burned him from within."
I like that the writing has not been dumbed down for kids. Every few paragraphs I would stop and ask them questions. "Do you know what ravenous means?" They did not. " Do you ever remember being really hungry?" They did. "Now think about how it would feel if you had not eaten in a few days. That is what the word ravenous means." I looked into their eyes and they got it. I would ask little questions throughout the story. They were all excited to tell me what they thought, including Elly. It took longer to read the story, but I feel like they are getting more out of it.
They look forward each night to reading a chapter of our book. They beg for two chapters. I feel like we are getting ready for Christmas but it's together time. We are all sharing our thoughts. As we are enjoying the book we are also anticipating seeing the movie together.