Sunday, February 17, 2013

discussing Tolstoy with a 7 year old.....

hi there

one of the things at school James is most enthusiastic about is the visit to the library every week. he has a love of books that i and indeed his mother (and just about everyone else in the family) has, which no doubt goes some way to explaining the good marks he gets for reading!

as part of usual conversation, i asked James a couple of weeks ago what book he took from the library that particular week. he paused to think about it, and then said "something like Peace and War". i asked him if he by some chance meant that the book was called War and Peace, and he said "yes, that one".

i found this a most peculiar choice for him to make. i mean, there's advanced reading and then there's really advanced reading, with the work of Tolstoy usually being found in the category of super deluxe advanced reading.

i asked him if his teachers knew that he had taken that book out and was told "yes, of course". i further commented that it was quite a big book, which he agreed with. that i knew of the book made James quite alert. he asked if i read it and i replied that indeed i had (sort of), at college or university.

he was quite excited to be reading the same book that i apparently had. meanwhile, i was wondering if he was on Tolstoy at 7, exactly what books would he want by age 8?

then along came one of those truly priceless moments. one of those moments where i found that i had to use every calorie of energy i had to focus on driving and not burst out laughing. what moment? well, James asked me the following question :

"Daddy, when you read it at school, did the book also have a big lion and a hedgehog fighting on the cover?".

i somehow managed to squeak out a "no", and i was now really very interested in what book he had taken from the library!

a-ha. not quite the Tolstoy version of the book that sounds a bit like War and Peace, then!

to be fair, the version James has looks as if what it lacks in Napoleonic content it more than makes up for in fun!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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