I am happy to report that Ballet Shoes has been an all round success in the read-aloud stakes from beginning to end. The Noodle was very keen to find out if Gum came back and confident that he would. The wrap up was most satisfying for a young person who is anxious about loose ends.
I think he secretly thought that Posy was the best character, because she was just so confident about herself. It makes me realise how rare confident characters are in literature for children. And when they are confident they are frequently obnoxious. The narrator carefully points out that Posy is not obnoxious, because she is so committed to her dancing - she's just being realistic when she notices that she is a better dancer than the other girls at the Academy. I like that.
Of course, the Noodle spent the entire chapter of Pauline's pride with his head under the pillow, weeping with anxiety. I thought he might expire on the spot when Pauline shouted at the theatre manager. He is a most satisfactory audience.
We are still stuck in the eagles' eyrie in The Hobbit. The Noodle is too afraid to continue. He enjoys the story so much, but he is so afraid for Bilbo all the time that he can't relax. If only we got to the end, and he could see how Bilbo's resourcefulness and tenacity get him through I'm sure the Noodle would feel happier than leaving Bilbo hanging (almost literally from Dori's legs).
Anyone have any suggestions for a good read-aloud that is not filled with incident and horrors?