Wednesday, 21 April 2010

telling a story

a story about a curious child

I've always loved the idea of reading a book to my children before bed each night, but in reality it's never worked for us. There is something about having a child sitting on either side of me, with the 'too bright' bedroom light, and the arguments over which story to read tonight, that has meant that it's just never worked for long. Sure we've tried a few times, and there is always much enthusiasm, from them, and many books, and much fuss. Not really what I have in mind when I think of a lovely relaxing pre-bedtime story session; it's just too stressful.


Now we love books, and Cam and I are definitely book lovers {aka book worms} and were both that way from a very young age; and it is very important to us to foster this love of books and the written word in our children. So over the Summer I tried something a little different. After Angus and Daisy have their bath, and are in the pajamas and are tucked up in bed, we give them their kisses and cuddles goodnight, and then I take my seat on the end of Angus' bed and I tell them a story.

There is no book involved, it's just a story that I know so well that I can modify to suit their age and stage, and tell it to them. Pure story-telling.

the pictures are exquisite

For a long while our story has been Goldilocks and the three bears, and my version goes something like this:

Once upon a time there was three bears who lived in a house in the woods. One morning they came down stairs and Mama bear made them all some porridge. When the porridge was ready they all sat down at the table, papa bear took a big spoonful and discovered the the porridge was "too hot", so they all decided to go for a walk in the woods while their porridge cooled down.

While they out walking a little girl called Goldilocks just happened to be walking by, she had never seen this house in the woods so she walked up and knocked on the door, nobody answered, so she went in anyway. When she got inside she saw three chairs around the table; first she sat in the biggest chair, but it was much too hard. Then she sat in the middle sized chair, but it was much too soft, so she sat in the smallest chair, and it was perfect... and then it broke!

Next she saw that there was three bowls of porridge on the table, and she was quite hungry, so she tried the porridge in the biggest bowl, but it was much too hot. Then she tried the porridge in the middle sized bowl, but it was much too cold, so she tried the porridge in the smallest bowl, and it was perfect... so she gobbled it all up.

After eating all that porridge she was feeling very tired, so she walked up the stairs and found three beds. First she lay down in the biggest bed, but it was much too hard. Then she lay down on the middle sized bed, but it was much too soft, then she lay down in the smallest bed, and it was perfect... so she went straight to sleep.

Soon the three bears came home from their walk and when they walked into the house, the Daddy bear said "SOMEBODY'S BEEN EATING MY PORRIDGE!" and the Mama bear said "Somebody's been eating my porridge!" and the baby bear said "Somebody's been eating my porridge... and they've eaten it all up! ".

Then the father bear said "SOMEBODY'S BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR!" and the Mama bear said "and Somebody's been sitting in my chair!" and the baby bear said "and somebody's been sitting in my chair... and they've broken it!"

Next the three bears went upstairs, and the Daddy bear said "SOMEBODY'S BEEN LAYING ON MY BED!" and the Mama bear said "Somebody's been laying on my bed!" and the baby bear said "and somebody's been laying in my bed.... and here she is, fast asleep"

At that, Goldilocks woke up! saw three bears looking at her! jumped out of bed! and ran down the stairs! out the front door! and off into the woods!... and she never came back again!

The End.

Well this adaption of the story has been working a treat, right up until I found a new book by Lauren Child. Do you remember her? we all fell quite in love with her book "The Princess and the Pea" about a year ago... and it is much read around here, mostly because I love the metre and rhyme of the story. Well while I was out last week, I came across another of her books {surprise, surprise!} Goldilocks and the three bears, and I tell you, I sat right down where I was and read it from cover-to-cover, partly because I wanted to know if I had been telling it right, and partly because I just love the way that Lauren writes. Needless to say that book came home with me.

three of everything...

On arriving home, amidst much excitement, I sat right down with Angus and Daisy and read them our 'new' version of Goldilocks. They loved it as much as I did, and of course we read it again straight away. However something happened that I didn't anticipate... come bedtime that night, when I tried to tell them our usual version of Goldilocks, I received all manner of corrections... "That's not how it went!"... "what about the apples?".... etcetera, etcetera...

Ready for reading

So I did what any lateral thinking Mummy would do in that situation, I changed stories... we are now telling the story of the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" each night, and how they had no grass in their paddock and had to get across the bridge with the nasty troll who wants to "Gobble them up!" so that they could "eat sweet grass in the other paddock"... I'm not sure if I really want to find an official version of this one though, I quite like our version.