Friday, November 16, 2012

Guardians of Childhood, Unite!

No, this isn't an invitation to some new Mom's club...

I'm sure you've heard this statement within the last few weeks: "MOM! DAD! I want to go see the new movie Rise of the Guardians! It looks awesome! It looks funny! It's great for families (they said that on the commercial)! Can we go? Can we, huh, can we?!!!" or something along those lines.

Yes, it's true, the new DreamWorks movie Rise of the Guardians is coming to a theater near you this Wednesday, November 21st, just in time for the holidays. And yes, it will probably be awesome.

But wait! You can use this as a chance to bribe your kids, I mean build your kid's reading skills! Tell them that they have to read one of the books before they can see the movie. Bam! They get to see a radical movie, and you get the satisfaction of knowing that they've increased their vocabulary and reading skills! Everybody's happy.

SLPL has 4 of the books in this great series from amazing author/illustrator James Joyce, and we will be picking the others up as they come out. Rise of the Guardians is a fantasy series that explores the origins of some of our favorite childhood characters, and there's lots of action and adventure to go around as well! For younger kids, try these picture books:

The Man in the Moon (about the Man in the Moon, of course)

The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie (about the Sandman, of course)

For older readers, try these chapter books:

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King (about Santa, I think?)

E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core! (Has to be about the Easter Bunny)

Now while I'm sure the movie will have spectacular animation (DreamWorks never lets us down), the real treasure of these books, especially the picture books, is Joyce's GORGEOUS detailed illustrations. He imbues them with an extra-large dose of the power of imagination, and I could probably sit and dreamily page through the books for an hour. He takes old and faithful friends, and injects them into new and splendid worlds. Colors leap from the pages, and you can almost feel yourself leaning forward and hoping you'll fall through into these wonderlands. He's the kind of illustrator that inspires future Caldecott award winners, and even librarians with no artistic talent whatsoever! Maybe I'll write him some fanmail!

Need an in-between activity? Watch the trailer for the movie here, along with games, apps, and an elf sing-along!

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