Tuesday, August 26, 2008

C's reading

C's homework lately has been to read 15 minutes at night. Her current book is The Phantom Tollbooth, but we occasionally read her a few pages, especially at bedtime. Given the abstract, punning material, I think she's benefited from the opportunity to discuss it.

My husband has been downloading Librivox audiobooks to listen to in the car with the kids. We recently listened to The Story of Doctor Dolittle and The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle. We also watched the 1967 film version, which draws (fairly successfully) from a variety of Dolittle books. There are a number of un-PC moments in the books and the books can be uneven and illogical (a man accused of murdering a friend in Mexico is inexplicably tried in Dolittle's Puddleby and the animal-loving doctor is frequently seen eating bacon), but the idea of a doctor who can speak the languages of the animals is really charming and the author (Hugh Lofting) does a lot with it. Voyages is probably the better book of the two. I like the episode where he proves to a judge that he can speak the language of dogs by chatting with the judge's dog and producing an exhaustive (and embarrassing) list of what the judge had for dinner the previous night. I also like the episode where Dolittle wrecks the bull-fighting industry on a Spanish-run island by colluding with the bulls.

Listening to books on tape during her commute takes some of the sting out of getting up early to go to school for C. Her current car book is Baum's Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.

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