Molly and I are reading Matilda right now and she is loving it! Yesterday afternoon, I read aloud to her for about an hour and a half and she wanted me to keep going but it was time for her to go to dance. Matilda is a Roald Dahl book, also author to many other books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox just to name a few. I forgot how rich with vocabulary Dahl's books are. While reading to Molly, I'll have my phone out so we can punch in words that are new to sometimes both of us to look up their meanings.
Both Matilda and Lavender were entralled. It was quite clear to them that they were at this moment standing in the presence of a master. Here was somebody who had brought the art of skulduggery to the highest point of perfection, somebody, moreover, who was willing to risk life and limb in the pursuit of her calling. They gazed in wonder at this goddess, and suddenly even the boil on her nose was no longer a blemish but a badge of courage.
Skulduggery, isn't that a great sounding word? It's one of the many words we looked up. It means dishonesty. Dahl really does know how to tell a story.
So last week I was reading a teacher blog and he had posted that Matilda was coming to Broadway. It had been in London in the West End, but now it was opening on Broadway in March. After a little bit of searching Youtube watching and listening to some of the songs, I knew I had to get tickets for Molly for her birthday. A few weeks ago, Molly told me that she really didn't want anything for her birthday because she had everything she needs which of course makes me want to get her something special. I try to get the kids gifts for Christmas and their birthdays that are more experiences than things. For Christmas this past year, the boys went to the Knicks game with their uncles and the girls got to go see Annie. For Mother's Day last year, Chris got me tickets to see Wicked in New York with the girls and my mom. They will long remember the things that we do together rather than the things that they get for Christmas or birthdays.
So after watching the youtube videos, I showed them to Molly and asked her if she wanted to go to New York for her birthday present. She was ecstatic! She sat at the computer and watched the videos. She tried to match the songs to the part of the book we have already read. She found some videos that have the lyrics and started singing along. She would pause it every once in a while and ask me a question. Why did she sing that Romeo and Juliet are stupid? I've heard of them, but I don't know their story. So I told her. She asked, "What does revolt mean?" So I told her. I asked her, "What do you think this song means?" She told me. She sat there and read the words as she listened to the music and she was completely engaged with matching the songs to the story.
At dinner, Matilda was part of our dinner conversation. Chris never heard of the author Roald Dahl and then we started naming some of his books. We have a number of his books but I couldn't find Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I remember reading The Fantastic Mr. Fox to the boys. Shannon remembers reading The Witches. I remember reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach with my second graders many years ago. We all remembered his stories.
Without stories, we are all just eating machines with shoes.
Molly has already watched this video many times trying to learn the songs.
This is author Richard Peck. I heard him speak once a number of years ago at a children's literature conference.
I am a mother that reads to her children.
107 days until Matilda on Broadway...Molly has already started counting the days.