Monday, April 25, 2011

Good Morning in Parseltongue

This morning I was woken up by a strange noise from underneath my bed. It sounded something like this, “SSalasshhhaaassss, SSSSllliisssishossss.” I looked under the bed and was confronted by the wild hair and morning fresh eyes of Child 1. She slithered out on her stomach and repeated herself. “Ssalasshhhaaassss, SSSSllliisssishosss”

“Does that mean you’re planning on killing me?” I asked.

“No, mom,” she said. “That’s good morning in Parseltongue.”

For the uninitiated, all three of you, Parseltongue is the language of snakes made famous by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

We read the first Harry Potter to Child 1 when she was in first grade. At the time I thought we would work our way through the series at a leisurely pace, say one book a year. That way she could grow with the series. I wanted to make sure she would be ready for any frightening or disturbing material. I had visions of reading the books side-by-side, a sort of Harry Potter book club. With this in mind I put off reading the seventh book in the series because I was certain we would all read it together for the first time, later, much later.

Everything was going according to plan until this year. Child 1 is currently devouring the fifth Harry Potter while Child 2 is demanding we read Harry Potter to him every night before bed. At this rate the series won’t last us another year. And even though I’m sometimes tempted, I can’t protest. My kids have found a book that has taken them into other worlds and sparked their imaginations. What more could anyone ask for from a book. As for my Harry Potter book club plans, I suppose there’s always the Percy Jackson series.


Hart Johnson said...

Oh, fabulous! I can't think of better books for the kids to fall in love with. My kids were (each) in first grade my first run... Thing 1, only books 1-4 were out and then we had to wait... Thing 2 we got through 5 and then had to wait... and THAT is when the writer in me awoke... I got involved with online communities discussing what would come next and thinking of those stories like a WRITER thinks of stories--foreshadowing, elements, things coming full circle... Needless to say, while the kids maintain some fondness, I am STILL ga-ga over those books.

Percy Jackson is great. My daughter also totally loved the series "Tomorrow When the War Began"--it is violent--a group of high school kids in Australia goes camping over break (Christmas, but their summer) and comes back to find their homeland invaded--they basically become guerilla warriors. It is a wonderful series to read together because it is a chance to discuss EVERY topic of morality and choice kids will encounter. We read it the first time when she was a 5th grader and i am probably delusional, as it's very dark, but it was good timing because she'd read WITH me so we could discuss it. For an alone venture, I'd probably wait until about 8th grade on them.

Sara said...

Unfortunately my kids are much more into the movies than the books. C has been on the 4th book for about a year.

Johanna Garth said...

Hart-Good I will file that recommendation away for two years from now. I could see child 1 loving a book like that and asking all kinds of questions that would make me squirm.

Sara-one of the reasons Child 2 is so desperate to finish the books is because he has to finish the book before he can see the movie. It's a bright, neon flashing carrot for him!

Elliot Grace said...

...funny but true, my kids actually favor Percy Jackson over Harry Potter. What are the odds?

Fun post:)