I am a fan of the junior novelization, at least of two Pixar movies. These provided my four-year-old with an introduction to chapter books, and vastly improved bedtime stories at our house. I recommend trying something like this to preK-K parents who need to take reading aloud to the next level.
Several months ago, my husband gave our four-year-old daughter the movie Up, along with the junior novelization. We watched the movie together for a family movie night, and afterward, my husband began reading the junior novel to her, one chapter at a time. Most of the dialogue is exactly the same, and my daughter’s vocabulary has grown from listening to descriptions of actions she has observed.
It was a spectacular success. Our daughter enjoyed acting out scenes she remembered from the film, and we enjoyed a break from the monotony of reading her favorite picture books night after night (we still read picture books daily, just not at bedtime).
Once we finished Up, we decided to continue our experiment with the junior novelization of Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, the movie of which our daughter has already seen. Another hit!
While we were still reading Tinker Bell, my daughter found my copy of The Wonderful Wizard of OZ on the bookshelf and requested that we read it after we finished Tinker Bell. Over this past weekend we finished OZ, and our next family movie night will be the Judy Garland film (though I wish this new version was already available as well).
Now we’re moving on to Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Later this week: A booklist for young cat lovers.