Friday, June 4, 2010

Books, for once

The Noodle has been reading with a lot of energy recently, despite his almost-equal passion for creating animation using PowerPoint. Having only ever seen PowerPoint used to destroy creativity, I am most impressed by the grade 3/4 children of the Very Good Primary School. I would feel slightly happier if the animations did not mostly end in decapitation, but there it is, I am not an 8 or 9 year old boy and I never was.

The books of the moment are:

Nips XI by Ruth Starke
The Fall of Fergal by Philip Ardagh
My Story: Fords and Flying Machines by Patricia Bernard and last but most
The Wizard of Rondo books by Emily Rodda.

Quite fabulously, the Noodle has finally taken to the school library, and has become bit more proactive about choosing books for himself, rather than seeing his role as rejecting books proposed by his parents and occasionally deigning to accept one. For someone who loves books, he has a strangely bitter relationship with actually choosing them for himself. However, now that he not infrequently likes quite different books to the ones I do, he has finally stumped off into book-choosing land all by himself. Hurrah.

He has been so excited by the Rondo series. I think Emily Rodda is fabulous at writing for the middle-primary readers. She gets just right the levels of excitement (but not too scary) and interesting and weird (but not too unfamiliar) that they seem to respond to. The Noodle is still not one for reading books that really, really scare him or weird him out. I don't think he'll be up for Philip Pullman for a bit yet. Also, Philip Pullman's books tends to be a bit too serious, even the funny ones tend to be making a Statement (said in large and sonorous tones) and nor does he write about sport.

The Noodle likes absurdism, puns, books about cricket, fantasy and time-travel. There are many books that do one or two of those things, but I have yet to find the complete package. The things he does not like are description, psychological development and description. He is not a fan of slow-moving reflections on the meaning of life.

The kid has also developed a bit of a fascination with the body (not only scatological), so is expanding his non-fiction interests in that direction. This follows other fascinations with the Tudors, archaeology, physics and food. He generally quite enjoys history of many kinds, especially if it has cricket in it.

I am reading reports by the Administrative Review Council, high court judgements and selection criteria. I should have a book called 'How to avoid procrastinating'.


Charlotte said...

Oh gosh, I hear you on the book rejection thing--sometimes with my eldest I feel like Gerald Durrell, trying to keep a rare animal alive by trying to find some food it will eat, leaving tempting book morsels scattered around its cage...

Anonymous said...

The tudors? That has reminded me of my short-lived childhood Tudor fascination.
I was about 5 when my parents took me to see a doll show. That is, a competition for people who like to make and dress dolls. One of the entrants had set up a display for her doll - Ann Boleyn, kneeling with her head on the chopping block. I immediately became fascinated and horrified, and pestered poor mum for hours about why the lady was getting her head chopped off.
Would be deemed 'unsuitable for children' these days, but this was 1970-something early.