Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Catchup

I've been "gone".  So now I have to catch up. 

Seems like everybody has an idea of what books kids' should read.  Oprah has a whole page dedicated to suggestions for age appropriate books for children.  When your young reader has run out of Big Nate books or Dear Dumb Diary books, here's another place to look for ideas.

I finally read David Benedictus' Return to the Hundred Acre Woods.  I didn't want to read it because the original Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner are tied for my number 1 favorite book of all times.  (It's a three-way tie with The Lives of Christopher Chant. )

I was afraid of what Benedictus would do with my memories.  I mean, Disney already reduced Eeyore to a one-note joke.  Without the superb humor of A. A. Milne, how would Pooh and Rabbit and Piglet, to say nothing of Eeyore, fare?

Benedictus is not as laugh-out-loud funny as Milne.  I should not even have hoped for that!  But Benedictus respects Milne's characters.  Sometimes, there is a joke that is overdone or a characteristic that is overemphasized.  But Pooh is not a "fuzzy little tubby all stuffed with fluff" or whatever.  The stories reflect the ways that 8 or 9 year old boys play.  When the animals decide to open a school, Benedictus hits all the right notes.  And Christopher Robin's cricket instructions were quite edifying!  I prefer Lottie the Otter in this book to that whistling gopher in the Disney adaptations. The illustrations were nicely close to E. Shepard's originals.

And the ending left me misty-eyed. So hats off to you, Mr. Benedictus.  You did quite well.  But, one revisit was enough for me.  Thank you.

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