Posts Tagged ‘Books’

The Apprentice Becomes the Master

So for years now, I’ve used a technique I call “Audiobooks for the Captive Audience” to introduce my kids to new books while we’re in the car and they can’t escape.

Mark has turned my strategy against me.

He’s playing a book in the car that makes my ears hurt and my soul feel like it is being rubbed across a cheese grater.

I have a high tolerance for adaptations, and a reasonable tolerance for allusions to / inspiration from other books.  I have no tolerance for flat-up imitations.

The book he’s forcing into my head, much like an ice pick, is basically a retelling of The Hobbit.   He knows this.  This is WHY HE THINKS I SHOULD LIKE IT.

There are four books in this series.


Hero Worship

Mark has discovered Beowulf and The Red Cross Knight.  Dragons, swords, arms being ripped off, deadly peril…what more could a little boy ask for?

If you dare plant your butt in a chair in our house these days, Mark will be at your elbow the next instant with the Beowulf retelling in one hand and the Faerie Queen retelling in the other.  “Weed to me,” he begs.

It’s pretty rewarding to ‘weed’ these books to him.

“Oh, wow,” he breathes at the bottom of every page.  I didn’t know eyes could get that big.

He’s shocked and thrilled by the ripping off of Grendel’s arm, the revenge of his mother, Beowulf’s trip into the deep, the Red Cross Knight’s three battles with the dragon and his various healings, and stabbing the dragon through the mouth.  “Oh, wow.”  He’s outraged at Wiglaf’s craven compatriots and the fools who wonder if the Red Cross Knight’s dragon is actually dead.

At the end:  “_I_ will kill a dragon now.”

The Red Cross Knight’s version of a dragon battle is clearly preferable:  “I fell in a healing pool!”  he calls.

In addition to not dying, the Red Cross Knight gets to marry Una, a not-irrelevant consideration.

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