Sunday, January 01, 2006

Goodbye Hermione, All Hail Queen Lucy

The Darling Niece, age 5 (correction: age 5 AND A HALF), has insisted that she is Hermione for about 2 years now. She has seen all the HP movies and loves the magic, loves Harry, and, of course, wants to be Hermione. (We also had a HP pop up book that no longer pops up, and apparently, this particular tie in is no longer made, so there is sadness in the house.)

As I wrote earlier, we went to see The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe together. She also went to see the latest HP. (Yes, I know it's PG13. No, I didn't take her.)

The result: a shift in heroines. Goodbye, Hermione.

Today, DN announced that we could only call her by her real name once a week. Other than that -- and other than at school -- she is Queen Lucy.

At the bookstore the other day, we examined some of the different Narnia books that are available. Purist that I am, I would have preferred to buy the original books and avoid the tie-ins and adaptations altogether. We examined this lovely read aloud edition, and she loved the cover, but was put off by all the words and little pictures, so we ended up getting this picture book adaptation. I said that when she was older, we'd get the one with more words.

To go back a little: months ago, when she was in full Harry Potter love, I'd explained to her about the books and how books and movies are different; that books have more in them than the movie. That it's 2 different versions of the same story. (For the record, my mother and sis laugh and laugh at how serious I was about this discussion with DN.)

So now to the cute part: DN and my mother were reading the adaptation together, which is now officially DN's favorite book. After it was over, she turned to my mother and explained, "but that's not the whole story. There's more."

My mother, thinking DN meant that the book had left out parts of the movie, said, "sometimes things are in movies but not in books."

"No," DN told her. "There's more stuff in the books that just has words. When I'm older, I can read that and find out all the extra stuff."

I was over the moon to hear that. First, I love that she loves movies, because I do. But I also love that she's gotten the message that movies aren't a substitute for books, and that books have "extra stuff." She already realizes its not a competition: they complement each other. And I love that she remembered that conversation about HP from a few months back and applied it to Narnia.

My lesson: be less judgmental about such adaptations. The picture book version (adapted by Hiawyn Orem -- isn't that a great name?) is a good story (and Chicken Spaghetti named it one of the year's best.)

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