Saturday, 17 December 2011

Eyewitness Classics - A Christmas Carol

Today has been a wonderfully lazy day. Other than going out in a fairly nasty hail storm to send out Christmas parcels before last-posting day, we have holed ourselves up against the elements in our nice warm house. I made what I thought was a lovely, comforting lunch of Pan Haggerty (recipe in the rather fabulous Hairy Biker's Mum Knows Best cookbook. MrM and I thought it was lovely, at any rate.C described it as "a plate of gross". A liked the bacon, and did eat some of the rest. However the accompaniment of "er" "yuck" and retching noises, somewhat diminished the comfort element of the meal. When I stropped that tea was going to be beans on toast, after a fairly protracted rant about why I bother spending time at the hob etc etc; they both cried "Yay! Beans on toast". Ah well. I enjoyed my Pan Haggerty anyway.

After lunch A and I snuggled up with A Christmas Carol - the DK Eyewitness Classics version. If it's normal to be in love with a children's book publisher (which I am aware it's not), I would have a major crush on Dorling Kindersley. They wrote the fantastic A Child Like Me series, of which I am an avid collecter. I'd not come across the Eyewitness Classics before I found this in the library, but this book is an absolute gem. It has the Dickens text alongside some absolutely stunning illustrations, and pictures and text in the margins explaning key points and vocab in the story (Amazon has a look inside feature for this book if you fancy a look).

A listened very intently to the first chapter (next installment for her tomorrow). I LOVE Dickens, and know this story well, although I am not sure if I've ever actually read it, or if hearing it as Radio adaptations and the many and varied film adaptations have just made me know all of the dialogue. I think this may be the case, as the dialogue all seems extremely familar, but the descriptions do not.

As much as I love reading books written for young children, it is really nice to read aloud from a book which is more challenging to read, especially as A was such a rapt audience. She found the story a lot funnier than I was expecting her to, and does not appear to be too scared (although bedtime will tell, I fear!) Most of the books I read to A now, are books which she could manage by herself, but prefers not to. This one, she would not be sufficiently motivated to read, I don't think, so it's good to share it with her, knowing that she would not tackle it yet herself. I would say she's about the right age for listening to this - C was about as impressed by the idea of Dickens as he was by Pan Haggerty. Perhaps he'll grow into both...

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