Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Sound of a Story

Books are a sensitive thing these days. The purists worry that the E-Book or the movie adaptation would stop people from reading the book book. I worry too, that my kids will not want to read because there are such easy alternatives. This is despite the fact that our house looks like a library and there are books everywhere.

But I discovered that it doesn't have to be an 'either...or' situation.

When we were in Perth and spent a lot of time driving, we discovered the best way to stop them for squabbling and asking the perennial "Are we there yet?" question was to put on stories for them. We had brought a set of Roald Dahl audio books with us.  And the minute we put them on, they were spell bound. We were spell bound. Packrat and I forgot to use the opportunity to chat with each other because we were intently listening to the stories of Charlie (and the Chocolate Factory), James (and the Giant Peach) and Danny (the Champion of the World) as well.

We didn't think it would last beyond the trip but they're still at it. Every time they are in the car, they ask for the various stories. We've since loaded more stories on for them. 

But it's also started them reading the books that previously would not hold their attention past the pictures.

Evan's favourites are The Charlie books though I have my reservations about the Glass Elevator which really reads like a sequel.

Jordan loves The Fantastic Mr Fox.

Both of them try to do different voices like the story tellers. Their latest is a really weird, Texas twang fake American accent like the president in Charlie and the Glass Elevator. And now, they head straight for the Roald Dahl books in the library. I suspect, it is easier for them to understand the book and not be so overwhelmed by the sheer number of words now that they know the gist of the story.

Even pre- reading Muffin loves everything and has taken to try to make James, the giant peach and the Old Green Grasshopper from play dough as well as writing the names of his favourite characters.   


To be honest, I never quite liked Roald Dahl. I was very disturbed at the fact that all those other kids in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ended up sucked up, tossed, stretched and ballooned (even if it were their fault). Plus Matilda, with the negligent parents and evil headmistress! But since JED don't seem to have such reservations, I'm keeping my mouth shut and letting them have their Roald Dahl fix.

We're looking at other audio books too so that we can eventually expand their listening and chapter book repertoire.


  1. Believe it or not, we just ordered our collection of Roald Dahl online for our eldest 2 days ago! Looking forward to it! But the thing is, the hubby is the one interested to read to junior, not the other way round yet. hee. I'm actually interested in the audio version, is it easy to listen? Like do they have slangs or accent that is hard to decipher? Audio stories are something I haven't ventured. Thanks for sharing!