Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ella of Frell

I've been reading the girls Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.  If you are only aquainted with the Anne Hathaway movie version of this tale, I'd highly recommend reading it. (Preferably outloud, to an 8 year old.)   The sweet romantic nature of this Cinderella story, along with Fairy magic, makes it perfect for your average second grader.

I used to use children's novels during transition times with my third graders.  I loved that look... the one when literature came alive, when they realize there is more than just the simple stories they read themselves.  I love the way the books would grab them, leave them begging for more.

Then came movies.  Now, don't get me wrong-- I'm a movie fan.  But when my favorite books started being butchered made into movies, I cringed.  Children would say, "I haven't read it, but I saw it."  (with Hollywood endings, of course)  Tuck Everlasting, The Indian in the Cupboard, and yes, Ella Enchanted.  Now, I have my own (almost) third grader-- it hit me.  Time has passed, she doesn't know these movies.  In fact, I let the girls watch the movie when we finish the book-- so they can talk about how it is different.  Frequently, they mention important details removed, and we talk about why they have to take them out of the movie.

Back to Ella Enchanted:  Some second graders can read this tale to themselves, but then you would miss out.  I started reading a chapter a night, but after much begging, our reading sessions have been longer and longer.  The tale is another take on Cinderella, but they won't recognize that until nearly the end.  Then the comparisons start. 

Now, as we approach the Happy Ever After-- the girls are already looking through the pile for what's next.  For me, I'll tell you-- the pages won't matter.  I'm looking forward to more snuggle time on the big couch.

Mary Kay loves to read outloud- especially to a willing audience.

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