Archives for October 2009
Parenting isn’t easy. And there are many books out there that try to help you raise your kids to be the happy, successful, independent adults that we hope they can be.
The basic concepts that are discussed in the book are something that we can start now and continue to build on as the girls get bigger. But our girls are still little and the activities suggested for he Family Plan and for each of the characteristics would be way over their heads. I can’t really hold a family meeting with a 2 1/2 year old who won’t sit still for a full episode of Toopy and Binoo
The way Sara Dimerman has organized the book will make it easy to review it in the future. Each chapter has a “short and sweet” review of the ideas and concepts that were discussed. The Family Plan has worksheets to help each family member define themselves and their goals and these can be found on her website. And the last part of the book takes each characteristic and goes into detail of how it can be a part of your life. She suggests having a monthly family meeting to learn about these characteristics.
I’ll definitelykeep it on hand for when the girls are old enough to participate and give feedback. Until then, it will be up to BigDaddy and I to make sure that we teaching and showing the girls how to be the best people they can be.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Character Is the Key: How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.
Within minutes of the movie, three children beside me were escorted by their parents out of the theatre. Max, the main character, was abusing a cat. The first thing movie goers will notice in this film is that this may not be a movie for children under the age of Max. That is, unless your children are viciously acting destructive despite having the cognitive skills to know better, then they won’t be able to relate to Max in the movie. Such “wild” characteristics usually develop around eight years old. The Max in this film is of a different maturity than the one found in Maurice Sendak’s book. Although the film’s version of Max is not on the pathway of adolescence, he’s right at the footstep looking ahead. This becomes evident as he tries but fails to make any bonds with young teens, including his older sister. In one scene, the wild Max is injured by an even wilder teenage boy who jumps on the ‘igloo’ that Max is hiding under. It was at this scene that I noticed two other children were escorted out of the theatre by their parents. And sure enough, the adult themes began appearing unbeknownst to children. This was when I began to enjoy the film.
The key to appreciating Where the Wild Things Are is in this statement by director Jonze: “I didn’t set out to make a children’s movie; I set out to make a movie about childhood.”
It’s worth bearing in mind if you’re intending to take a very young tot to see this film. What Jonze and screenwriter Dave Eggers have wrought in adapting Maurice Sendak’s 1963 picture book perennial is something so primal, and so in touch with the rough “id” of youthful fantasy, it would be easy to dismiss as a simple kid’s story.
Then there is this review as well from “kids in mind”: http://kids-in-mind.com/w/wherethewildthingsare.htm
Sendak’s book is a witty and concise (338 words) allegory about a high-spirited five-year-old’s rage, fantasy and ultimate mastery childhood emotions. The Jonze movie, co-written by novelist Dave Eggers ( A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius ) is an exploration of childhood sorrow. It’s about an emotionally neglected nine-year-old (Max Records) who exhibits behaviour problems as he witnesses his parents’ divorce. Forget about Max’s cry to let the wild rumpus start. This feels more like: “Let the grief-counselling ensue.”
Jonze and Eggers have a firm grasp on the way a child’s joy can quickly turn to tears, but they squeeze hard and can’t let go. The film is essentially a parade of negative emotions – sorrow, anger, jealousy, regret. And the choppy dialogue, at times so cryptic that it borders on Beckett, keeps the Wild Things from becoming full-fledged characters.
“Where the Wild Things Are” clearly wants to be a children’s movie that isn’t really a children’s movie, and it succeeds. That’s great news – if you’re an adult.
I’m very curious to see how they have “adapted” the book so I’m sure I will see the movie.
How old are your kids and will you be taking them to see this?