About a month ago Trevor and I finished reading through The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh. Sometimes we would read a chapter during our school time, and other times we would read a chapter before bed. Something about this simple, playful, silly old bear just captivated Trevor's attention. He loved staring at the little pencil drawings scattered throughout the book while I read and would ask tons of questions about what I was reading. This is the first chapter book I have read to him, and honestly I was not expecting him to make it through a whole chapter in a sitting, but I found that my voice always wore out before his attention did!
Each character has his own unique personality and their reactions to situations are pretty predictable (which is probably part of the reason why little kids love them!) I just love the simplicity of the story lines. Nothing is forced. Oftentimes the reader will find Pooh and Piglet just walking along. Sometimes they will talk, other times not. It really is just a day in the life of Winnie-the Pooh.
The only thing I do not love about the books is that there are often misspelled words, because it is mimicking how a beginning speller would write. I found this cute, and reading the book aloud, the spelling does not impact the hearer, but I think I would have a hard time handing this book to a youngster to read to himself until his spelling was very good.
When we were about half way through the book I heard that there would be a Winnie-the-Pooh movie coming out in mid-July. I was very excited! We had never taken Trevor to a theater before, and I thought this would be a great first movie for him. So Tim and I took him on a Monday morning. I think there were only about 30 people in the theater, which was nice. The running time is just over an hour, so they definitely knew their audience would be of the preschool set. Half way through the movie Trevor stood up and said "My legs are getting tired of this." I'm glad they knew to make the movie short =)
I enjoyed the movie, but I didn't love it. I loved how they often showed the words on the screen like it was zooming in on a page from the book. I loved the scenes where the characters were gathered together trying to come up with a plan (to find Eeyore a new tail, or to catch the Bakson, for example), or walking along to go to a friends house or somewhere like that. What I didn't like were the scenes that were obviously hyped up to be attention getting (like Pooh's honey dream or the scene describing the Backson). I just found those so out of character from the books.
Something that I find so interesting is how Tigger plays such a key roll in modern Winnie-the-Pooh. He was not even introduced in the first of the two books in The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh and when he is around in the second book, he is not a main character. Tigger is a loud, hyper animal and we are a loud, hyper society, so I know that (like the out-of-place scenes in the movie) the creators of the movie are just giving the people what they want, I just think it's too bad that we cannot be satisfied with the simple.
So now that we have closed this gem of a book, I am on the lookout for our next great read!
I'm sure all of you have some memories of Winnie-the-Pooh and have probably shared it in some form or another with your children. Did you see the move with your kids? If so, what were your thoughts?