Thursday, 22 October 2015

What We're Reading- Roald Dahl's The Witches

It is that time of the month for us to tell you all about what we have been reading! Last month just after I posted our what we are reading post I spoke to Daddy about trying to read D an actual book with chapter's and not many pictures each night instead of the short toddler books we had been reading D. The reason for this is that it is incredibly hard to get D to sleep at night and this becomes even more so if it is in his own bed and he knows you are going to leave him when it is over. We spend an hour or two just trying to get D to go to sleep!

I had got thinking in the last few weeks as to what we could do to help improve D's sleeping and after trying a few ideas that failed I remembered that as a child my mum used to read me novels that she enjoyed along with lots of children's novels.  I do think back on those stories as my first real introduction to reading novels. This slowly developed into a very big love of mine and I have always loved reading. I remember being a huge book worm as a child with one of my favourite days of the year being World Book Day. There was always something happening between the pages of a book that just enticed me in. After speaking to my mum she has told me that I was always reading and regularly read books on a much higher reading scale than my age!

This imaginative journey novels so often inspire in children is something I know I really want D to have growing up. Toddler's books are wonderful don't get me wrong I love sitting with D and reading a good book with beautiful pictures and I do still do that during the day. My problem with these books is that most of the time they are a book written to teach children about a particular lesson or to help engage toddlers and children to grow their minds. There is just so much more to a story that unfolds over the many chapters of a novel that simply cannot be recreated in a book containing 20 pages or less. With this in mind I really wanted to pick a great author who we could discover with D. I wanted that author to have wrote books that really engage any audience and the one that sprung to mind was Roald Dahl and what better book of his around Halloween than The Witches?


Obviously with D there is a limit on how much of a book we really can read as his attention span is pretty good but it isn't great. I have been pretty surprised with the length of D's attention during our night time reads though! I have found that every night it takes around 24 pages for D to fall asleep which is much different than before and is much the same as one toddler book in regards to pages. The amount of words and length of reading do dramatically change when you switch to a novel so we are spending more time on the actual reading rather than the selecting of a book D likes.

Roald Dahl's The Witches is about  A little boy referred to in the book as Boy who's parents have died in a car crash and he has been sent to his grand mama in Norway. The story is narrated by Boy and has a wonderful child like feel to it. His Grand mama tells him all about REAL witches and the happenings of these witches all around the world especially in Norway. They have to move back to England together for Luke to finish his education. There are witches in England too and witches do not like little children, or any children for that matter. Their plan and ultimate goal in life is to rid the world of children. Some one has to stop the witches from carrying out their terrible plan. Nothing is ever that simple though and there are many great set backs and shocks inside the pages! You will find out how to spot a witch throughout the story and these are skills that every child must have.

I have really enjoyed reading Roald Dahl with D and from what I can tell D has been really engaged in the story as we follow along, He is extremely perceptive as a toddler and will pick up on many parts to the story or the characters that are there to shock and repulse some readers.( Not D, He loves these bits!) The Witches has turned out to be a very enjoyable read for D and has had a great effect on his night time routine, we have been simply replacing our marathon reading session at bed time with a very satisfying and relaxing 25 pages from our novel. D has shown a great engagement with Roald Dahl's characters and very much enjoy hearing all the different voices, pitches and accents that are portrayed by Roald Dahl as a writer.

Reading The Witches by Roald Dahl at night has given D a great boost in his memory capabilities. Every night just before we read The Witches we do a small recap on what has happened in the book. We try to keep this to a small amount and will go through some small sentences like 'Witches are real' 'There is a Grand High Witch' Lives with his Grandmama'. The very last sentence or two will relate to the previous nights happenings in The Witches. This helps D to remember what has happened in the book as well as promoted his capability to remember many important events in the book and D has really grown and attachment to the main character ....

Roald Dahl has such a great imagination and portrays the story so it is suitable for all readers young and old! We have been loving hearing all about witches and I have been starting to point out people wearing gloves ( a sign used to spot a witch!) to D to get him engaged when we are out which has got me a very strange look or two but this game is rather fun to play as well as passing the time and reminding D of our story.

I love the imagination this book unlocks for D and the wonderful and very broad spectrum of characters in the story. There is never a dull moment during this story. I am most astonished by the sheer joy D expresses at any happy or exciting parts to the story. There is something for everyone to love in Roald Dahl's The Witches. If you are looking for a book for older children or like me you are looking to try out a novel at bed time to help your little relax easier or to help send them to sleep I would recommend trying out The Witches.

Now don't fret we are still telling you all about our most loved toddler book of the month too! This will be coming up on the blog soon but why not check out our previous favourite toddler books of the month. We've loved reading Henry's Pirate SurpriseWe're Wearing Out The Naughty Step and Daddy Pig's Old Chair

You can find Roald Dahl's The Witches on Amazon by clicking the link. You may also find this book in local bookshops.

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