Skip to main content

Harry Potter Time

Raise your hand if you never get tired of reading your kid the same picture book for the billionth time. Yeah, I didn't think so.


I have no more patience for that nonsense than any other mom, so I'm very grateful to have a child who loves "scary" things, like favorite movie Spirited Away (since age three) and creepy tales told in the dark with a flashlight. This preference has broadened our bedtime story repertoire immensely.

The summer that Nux Gallica was three and a half, I decided to try reading her the first chapter of Harry Potter. Evil wizard serial killer? Child abuse? Giant on a flying motorcycle with candy in his pocket? Yes, I questioned this decision to myself. But whatever, it's literature. Best she encounters dark concepts in the safe realm of fantasy storytime with Mommy before she hears about them in the RL, right? I read something about how when children read about traumatic fictional events and characters overcoming them, it generates connections in their brains that build resilience for when a real-life hardship occurs. OK, sold.

I chose the date of Harry's "actual" birthday to give it a try, just to add some magic to the experience. And Nux loved it--even though I was reading from my good old-fashioned copy without all those fancy new edition color illustrations!

From then on, we have been reading Harry's saga in "Harry Potter time"--that is, according to the dates of the events in the books. Right now we're on the second book, still reeling from the terrible events following Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington's deathday party. 

The Harry Potter series is especially amenable to this practice because J.K. Rowling took such care to orient the reader precisely in time as the stories move along. When an exact date isn't given, I make a guess, calculating the Thursday after three more weeks have passed or whatever is indicated, and I pencil in the next reading night's date in the margin.

Reading the stories in Harry Potter time lends magic to the stories because it makes each reading a special occasion, ties the seasons and holidays in the story to what's happening in our real lives in the moment, and creates an enormous amount of suspense when we have to wait days, weeks, or even more than a month to find out what happens next. I find my preschooler begging me to read her another selection from an almost picture-less chapter book--"Just one page, please!"--and I look forward with glee to the day she learns to read well enough to "sneak" previews by herself. (What a great way to be naughty, eh?)

In the meantime, I allow her to choose passages or chapters we've already read to repeat as bedtime stories until we are "allowed" to read the next part. And of course, we fill in with various picture books that bore me to tears. (If I have to read Green Eggs and Ham one more friggin' time...)

All this is giving Nux motivation to learn how to read on her own and a thirst for more complex narratives. And it's fun for me to revisit a book series that I loved as a teenager and young adult.

Have you ever read a novel in its own story time, whether to a child or just on your own? How did you like it? How did it feel different from gulping the book down in one sitting (like I used to love doing before I was a mom)? Share in the comments if you think this practice gives a book special magic!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Bad Romance Starring Till Lindemann, Sophia Thomalla, Gavin Rossdale, Simone Thomalla, Sven Martinek, Andy LaPlegua, and Leila Lowfire

To misquote Gaga, "I don't speak German, but I can look at foreign tabloids and guess what's going on if you like."


I guess it would be more professional and ladylike for me to be above this sordid celebrity gossip, but I'm not. I'm so not.


So let's see if I've got this straight. From what I gather...


Metalgod Till Lindemann, 54, and model Sophia Thomalla, 27 (upper left) recently exited a five-year, on-off, opennish relationship, which began when Sophia's actress mother Simone (upper right, in the center) and Simone's then-lover (between her marriages to nubile young athletes) actor Sven Martinek (lower left, in the center), who is famous for his lead role in German TV show Der Clown (lower right) thought it would be cute to set Sophia up with their pal Till. Apparently, the 22-year-old Sophia was not repulsed at her parental figures setting her up with a drinking buddy significantly older than her mom, which absolutely makes sense when the d…

Ich Liebe Rammstein: Till

UPDATE: After purging his sillies on the side project LINDEMANN and participating in another Rammstein documentary video, Till has begun work on a seventh Rammstein album, estimated to be released in 2017. 

October 2017 is the release date of a NatGeo photo book of Till's travels in the Yukon with Joey Kelly: Mein Gehasster Freund Yukon

Yukon Ho!

For fresh squeezed gossip juice, here's a bad (as in so good) romance. Till Lindemann
Till Lindemann is the only living human who could kick Chuck Norris's ass, but he doesn't, because they go on emo hunting trips together. The source of this fact, Urban Dictionary, also provides the following essential details: "Till Lindemann is the anthropomorphic personification of pure masculinity who invented the often-lethal dance move: The Till Hammer..." "He challenges the definition of masculine..." "Every German fertility clinic features a cardboard cutout of Till Lindemann choking a shark with one hand, whils…

Ich Liebe Rammstein: Richard

Richard Z. Kruspe
Richard Zven Kruspe is Rammstein's founding father, lead guitarist, and natural frontman. He's gregarious, well-spoken in both German and English, a professional showman, and an enthusiastic promoter for the band. In German, his name is pronounced "REE-kard," and in Germanglish, "Reeshard," or "Reesh" for short. Richard is sexy, and he knows it. To many Rammstein fans, he is the cuuuuuuute one. His Facebook page would have you believe it.

Legend has it that Richard has a lovechild with lead singer Till Lindeman. The myth is based in complicated facts and figures, including one unconventional love triangle. Circa 1990, Richard and Till were in a band together (along with future Rammstein rhythm guitarist Paul Landers) with the cheeky name First Arsch. Till, the drummer, was a single father of a little girl at the time, the issue of a short-lived, youthful shotgun wedding--to Richard's current girlfriend. When "Mrs. Lindem…