(An add-on article for my original post: how to motivate children to read more and my 2018 reading list)
I grew up on Winnie the Pooh. I watched the classic movies, of course, and also the late 90’s and early 2000’s TV shows on Disney Channel on Saturday mornings, but my fondest memories of Winnie the Pooh are of the nights before bed when my dad read the A.A. Milne books aloud. He would do all the voices – similar to the films, but just a little bit different – and would make those characters come alive for me and my brothers, make them more than something hidden behind a tv screen. He made them a part of us.
There really is such a difference between watching a movie and listening to a book. The movie experience is lovely and can enliven the imagination, but a book seeps into your bones and becomes a part of your DNA. The characters take up life inside of you, and a whole new world becomes just as real as the one we live in.
I wanted my little brother Joseph, age 5, to have the same experiences of Pooh Bear that I had, but my dad has been working two jobs lately and is often gone in the evenings, so this past year, I decided to read the books aloud to him myself – just like my dad had done.
I do all the voices just the same as my dad, and in doing so, I have realized for the first time just how much I remember from when I was little, and how inseparable the book characters are for me from his voice and presentation.
I have the feeling that had I read these books for the first time when I was an adult, I would certainly have enjoyed them, (as I have many child book classics that slipped by me in childhood) but never with the same complicated fondness , heart-warming laughter, and tear-jerking finish that I do now.
And, of course, my brother loves it! He loves it so much that when we finished, and I tried to pull out a new book (“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,”) he insisted that we start Pooh Bear all over again!
I can not recommend A. A. Milne’s masterpieces, Winnie-the-Pooh and House at Pooh Corner, enough!
Tv shows: the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the Book of Pooh