Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my Brother

Quentin Blake's a fantastic
illustrator. I (and my brother)
love his drawings!
I think, it's harder for my brother to like reading, especially when he has so many alternatives: Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, iPad etc. That's why, I tried to read him Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Road Dahl in the last few weeks.

Although I did try something similar before, it wasn't very successful. Perhaps it's because Enid Blyton is more suited to girls, or maybe the pace of the stories are too 'slow'. I may like her books, especiall those that involve animals (like the Children of Willow Tree Farm), although interestingly, whenever I pictured living on a farm, I never did think about what the toilets would be like. Anyway, the bottom line is: my brother is not going to be a fan of Enid Blyton, at least, not until he can appreciate stories with a slower pace.

Roald Dahl, on the other hand, is exactly suited. The stories are so fantastical, they basically grab a child's attention. Although the books are much longer compared to Enid Blyton (it took my mom and I taking turns to finish Charlie and the Chocolate factory), my brother also likes them more.

At first, I had to make him sit down for one chapter a day before he ran off. But once we got to the part about the Golden Tickets, something in my chocolate-loving brother's mind woke up and he requested another chapter, and another. Our record is seven chapters in one day (remember, I have to read it, so it's tiring for me).

When he learnt that a movie was available, I was afraid that he wasn't going to want to read the book. To my surprise, he read the book and watched the movie. Right now, his hobby is to go around singing "Augustus Gloop, Augustus Gloop" to various people. And of course, he made my day when he told my mom that he preferred the book to the movie(:

Right now, we are trying to read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and it's encouraging to see that he is starting to pick up books and flipping through them. That's how he learnt that there's a book called Charlie and the White House (although I have to explain it wasn't finished and so, not published). I think even though he's just flipping how, it might lead to him starting to read the book (he's reading sentences then stopping).

All in all, I'm happy that I decided to read him Roald Dahl. It's probably one of the few "classics" that can hold a little boy's attention (sorry Mark Twain, I tried reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to my brother. He didn't even last one paragraph, while he can last one short story for Enid Blyton).

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