Last night my granddaughter spent the night at our house. I took the advice from carlsson and decided that, rather than read her another Peppa Pig booklet, I would just tell her the Christmas Carol story. Only that instead of reading it from my book-in-progress, I decided to make it up and give her the abridged "short-short" version, made up on the spot.
And it went ... not too bad. Phew!
Putting aside the newly acknowledged fact that I suck at making up stories on the spot -- I rambled and stammered, and jumped all over the place; and even almost forgot the ending, which my wife had to point out! -- she seemed interested and excited throughout the tale, and you could tell that she was enjoying it very much.
Even my wife noticed it and told me, which made me unclench a little once we tucked the kid in and left the room. She did go right to sleep in no time flat, which at the very least means that Christmas Carol as a bedtime story, does its job with aplomb.
I started by showing her an illustration of the main characters. I thought it would be important to give her an idea of how they looked -- especially since she's just four years-old, and her experience and immersion in popular culture icons such as Christmas elves and Evil Snowmen is exceedingly limited. For that I used the artwork I commissioned for the CvW Winner's marquee, which I think so perfectly captures the characters, that I will probably declare them the de facto and definitive likenesses.
She was immediately captured by the images. I tried to explain what a Christmas elf is, and how they help Santa Claus make and deliver presents, and she seemed to get it -- but when I showed her the illustration of Carol she went, "aaaaaah," which made me smile. :)
Then I mentioned the scaaaaaary "Ghost of Christmas Presents," and when I showed her the image with both the Ghost and the Snowman, her eyes got really big and she shouted "and the scaaaaary snowman!" which made me smile even more. :) :) :) :)
Anyway, I'm thinking I'll do this from now on: just give her little vignettes of Carol's adventure whenever she spends the night again. I need to practice more next time, though. I did ramble quite a bit.
I'll try to keep her interested in Carol and build up the magical world in her imagination. That way, she can grow up with the myth and magic of the story, and eventually (and hopefully) appreciate the book more, enough to want to read it when she learns how. It's all part of my master plan to gain readers and become rich and famous. LOL! :grin:
Well, that's all I have right now. The entire experience was very educational for me, and it turned out not to be such a scary thing at all.