Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New York Times follow up and current obsessions.

In the last few days, I've received a lot of positive feedback on my post 'In defense of the picture book,' for which I'm very pleased. I meant everything I said in the post, however, after going back to the Times article and reading some of the comments, I felt I needed to bring some new information to the discussion. I used a quote from the article and criticized it in my post. It turns out that the woman attributed with that quote believes she was misquoted and that what she had said was taken out of context. You can read her response here.

I had said in my previous post that I was 'horrified' by the quote in question, and I remain horrified, but not at the woman who supposedly said this, rather at the Times for putting this forth as the prevailing attitude among parents and the likely reason for the decline in sales of picture books. And shame on me for not getting both sides of the story before making comments of my own. Aside from that, I stand by my post and I do feel strongly about letting kids enjoy all kinds of reading materials and allowing them to self-select. The lesson learned is to not take the news at face value. It's important to dig deeper, think critically, and make sure you have all the information before you put in your $.02.

On to the fun stuff. The first installment of the final Harry Potter movie will be out on November 19. I'm very excited to see the movie. I'm a big Harry Potter fan, of both the books and the movies, although I wasn't into it early enough to see Jo Rowling at Hicklebee's back in the day. But the fun thing about it was watching my daughter grow up with Harry. She began reading the books in fourth grade. I had already read the first one and couldn't get her interested in it. Then one day, she came home from school and asked for the book because one of her classmates had done an oral book report on it and it intrigued her. She was instantly hooked. At this time, the first two books were out so she gobbled up the second one as soon as she finished the first. Then we waited for each successive book release. And as she got older, I thought she would leave Harry behind as part of her childhood, along with Barbie dolls and Pokemon. But as she got older, so did Harry and his story matured along with him and she didn't have to give him up. Instead, she loved him all the more. And so did I. She preferred to read the books to herself so we would have to keep two bookmarks in the book and we would race each other through the books and ask each other "have you gotten to that part yet?" She went to a couple midnight book releases with her friend, though she wouldn't wear a costume. When the last couple movies came out, we went to the midnight showings on the first day of release. When the last book came out in 2007, I read the book in a day and a half. It made me cry. My daughter didn't start it right away. She put it off. And waited. Until more than a year later. I asked her why she wasn't reading the book, she looked wistful and said she didn't want to say goodbye. She wasn't ready to let Harry go. But finally, she did read it. And now all we have left is the last movie in two parts.

She's away at college now so we won't get to see the movie together on opening day. She'll go with her friends, I'll go with mine. I suspect we'll see it again when she's home for Thanksgiving. Also, I'm knitting her a Quidditch sweater. Here's how it looks so far:

True confession: I started this post two days ago. About the same time I started listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on audio book. I couldn't put it down long enough to finish this post, until now. I just finished listening to it. I can't wait to see it on screen. Also, I'm much further along with the sweater.

In other book news, I'm currently reading a collection of short stories called Zombies Vs. Unicorns. I'm only three stories in and this post is already long enough so I'll tell you about ZVU next time.

Also, I'm thinking of doing a Nobody Owens/Harry Potter Venn diagram.

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