Sunday, February 28, 2010

Harry Potter Obsessions

For weeks, Aleks has been listening to the Harry Potter books in mp3 format. We had books 1 and 2 on tape, which he finished awhile back over the course of several months. Then, we got hold of the rest of the books and put them in our iTunes library. I was able to load one book at a time onto our tiny iPod and he would carry this around the house. He would spend hours in the basement, jumping on the trampoline and listening to the soft cadence of Jim Dale's British accent. I particularly like when he does Hermione's voice, "'arry!"

Sometimes we would all listen together through the computer while Aleks drew, I cooked, and Bastian made endless games of relational battles and negotiations between his toys.
Aleks started drawing Harry Potter inspired images. Here is a wizard casting a Patronus. He decided his own Patronus would be a snake. There was a drawing depicting as much, but I was unable to find it.He also added HP creatures into the creature card rotation. Here is a phoenix.
Another creature card shows a basilisk.
Aleks began watching all six movies intermittently as well. One night last week, he wanted to watch all six straight, but didn't get started on the first one until late in the evening and fell asleep soon after the second one started.
He's been asking tons of Harry Potter questions all the time, wearing his Slytherin cape almost constantly, brandishing a wand, shouting out spells at random, carrying around our miniature Marauder's Map, and even decided that if he went to Hogwarts, he'd have a dragon deliver his mail instead of an owl. His dragon would be named Scabs, which I thought was a pretty gross name. He decided that Bastian would also have a dragon deliver his mail and its name would be Frank. He drew a picture of these as well.

Then, yesterday morning, Aleks finally finished listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book 7). Aside from asking if certain characters had really died during the last chapters, there were not many questions or much discussion at all. He announced that he'd finished and then, the first thing he did was get out his tape player and the set of tapes of Book 1 and began listening to the whole series all over again.

Yesterday evening and today, he spent most of his time listening to the tapes and playing Wizard 101 on the laptop in his room.
I've created a monster. ......Actually, I love it. I'm thrilled that he's getting into chapter books, even if he's not yet reading them himself. The world is rich, the archetypes are dynamic, and there are certainly worse ways one could spend one's time.

We even bought special headphones (designed for children to limit the decibel level and save their ears)and an armband for holding the ipod so as to avoid losing it to frequent dropping (especially while on the trampoline).


Rachel said...

Oh, that boy is after my own heart. :) (And yours, too, hee hee.) I love the way he has completely immersed himself in all things Harry Potter, and I am only sad that he missed the HP exhibit at the MSI by a least you saw it and he can hear about it from you. Otto has been the one who wants to hear the books, but we did not have as much luck as you did with the CD versions...Jim didn't stop for questions. :) And we only ever bought the first CD. I keep meaning to see if I can get the rest from the library. Anyway, I'm totally excited about all the ways Aleks is into HP, and I love the image of him listening while jumping on a trampoline. :)

anna kiss said...

We got them from the library before. Sometimes they're scratched there, unfortunately. The best thing to do is to search out copies of the CDs and transfer them into mp3 format on your computer, then give the CDs back. You may also be able to find some books in mp3 format through your library. We have a cord to hook the ipod up in the car so we can all listen and then we can play straight from iTunes at home if we want.

I think that Jim not stopping for questions is why he's listening to them all over again - he didn't mind asking questions right while Jim was talking. He seems to consume a lot of media that way - sort of glazing over parts of it, not listening carefully, but rather getting the gist before going back for more. It's an interesting approach. Maybe that's why so many kids watch things over and over?

We want to go to the new Harry Potter amusement park some time. No idea when. It is sad he didn't get to see the exhibit, but I'm not sure he would have appreciated it then. Now he would for sure. I actually haven't told him I saw it. I was afraid he'd get mad at me. lol oops.

Rachel said...

Yes, I see a trip to the HP amusement park in our future too. Hopefully after the crazy crowds have calmed down a bit. :) Until then, we are eagerly awaiting the Lego Harry Potter video game...rumor has it that Lego will release 6 sets of Lego Harry Potter to go with the release of the game. We are most excited about that!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I have never even thought of books on tape. Duh... What a good idea!

Percy Jackson is a great series. You'll love it. My boys think they're really cool and have read them several times.

anna kiss said...

lol, Tracey! Jim Dale does better voices than me. We read other stuff together, so they do get to follow along, but these books are long and Aleks was anxious to hear the whole series, but not quite able to read it himself. I'm confident it's coming though. This is certainly piquing his interest in longer books. He's talked about how listening to them is like watching movies in his head. I think he likes how much more dynamic story-telling gets to be over movies.