Should I read Harry Potter now?
Why should Harry Potter of all things be read to children? Well, the answer is amazingly simple: Because there are good reasons for it! Reasons that, by the way, also apply to some of the masterpieces of Astrid Lindgren, Michael Ende or Otfried Preussler. But meeting Harry Potter - and that's the difference - all reasons too.
Let's get started:
The child undertakes a long journey into a contemporary world and at the same time has the feeling of having been conjured up into an absolutely timeless, mobile and computer-free universe called Hogwarts. If you go on this journey as a couple - and togetherness is the most wonderful reason for reading aloud - it will not only be a wonderful weekend trip to Lummerland or Lönneberga for the child and for the reader, but a breathtaking trip around the world. (It is indeed the case that reading Harry Potter is not an evening ritual that will come to an end after a few weeks; it is an evening project. The hardcover edition of the seven volumes has over 4,300 pages. Rufus Beck took 8216 minutes to complete. to read the entire Harry Potter book, which is almost exactly 137 hours.)
The series effect, which works so well with television series that children are almost forced to watch television, not only works with Harry Potter, with Harry Potter the anticipation of the evening reading session begins in the morning. (Also) books are addicting. A knowledge that cannot be conveyed early enough. The wonderful, multi-volume Hotzenplotz and Sams stories definitely do not have this addictive potential.
The child will forever lose all fear of thick books. (By the age of ten, they may have long since developed this fear and therefore only watch the films.) Because actually even The Order of the Phoenix, with its 1000 pages, is much too short.
If you manage to keep the child away from the films for a while, then the overused slogan "Reading is an adventure in the head" applies to Harry Potter to an extreme extent: If, as an adult, you could only look into the head of a child in which Elves, hippogriff and werewolves cavort and play Quidditch instead of soccer.
At some point, somewhere, the child will see the films. But don't worry: he'll probably prefer books to films for the rest of his life. After all, once you've read the books, the films are definitely inspiring - but the child registers (indignantly) every inaccuracy that the scriptwriters have made. (But be careful: the films are only from twelve, and that's a good thing.)
Harry Potter can spark an interest in the phenomenon of language in children. All you have to do is take the spells apart with the child and you will come across all sorts of roots, especially Latin. There are innumerable sites on the Internet devoted to this phenomenon.
Harry Potter is ideal for a very unobtrusive first introduction to comparative literature. After all, the meaning of rings and the peculiarity of an invisibility cloak and also the power of dwarfs (= goblins) forged swords have their origins in Nordic myths and have been eagerly muddled - among others by the aforementioned Astrid Lindgren and Michael Ende.
The child is at the beginning of his school career. Reading Harry Potter shows the child how dreary and at the same time exciting school can be.
No matter how hard you try, you won't be able to do it as brilliantly as Rufus Beck reads or interprets the text. The child will therefore like to listen to the CDs and thus develop a skill that many children are rumored to be no longer in possession of: just listen for an hour and quietly build or paint Lego. Because in contrast to his parents, Rufus Beck doesn't get a dry mouth and stops after half an hour. But don't worry: Rufus Beck is a supplement and not a replacement. Because the parents, who constantly forbid the child to do something during the day and who complain or are in a bad mood, are only there for the child when reading aloud and have no time to scold, complain or be in a bad mood - and no child in the world will be not enjoying this state.
A well-known, much discussed and always regretted phenomenon is that fathers don't like reading aloud and that little boys are tomorrow's grumpy readers. For this reason, fathers should be legally compelled to read Harry Potter to their sons! The father, who is often the son's bad reader, is guaranteed to have fun giving a voice to Hagrid and Voldemort and Snape and Dobby and Harry Potter himself. In addition, probably eighty percent of all men are prevented from being a sports reporter: Well, at Harry Potter you have the chance to host a Quidditch game - and the more exaggerated you moderate, the greater the son's joy. And then, in the sixth volume, the father and son face a very special, emotional experience: Because the son will burst into tears when Dumbledore dies. He will do it! And as a father you would like to cry yourself, but somehow that doesn't work. So you have no choice but to hold your son tight and tell him how you burst into tears even when Winnetou died thirty years earlier.
One thing is certain: Reading aloud from Harry Potter makes readers who don't read aloud and readers who don't read. Because even the toughest seven-year-old will find Harry Potter appropriately creepy from the fourth volume and later even cruel, and that is certainly a reason for many boys to find Harry Potter cool. And even if many an educated citizen would like to deny it - the coolness factor is important to spark an enthusiasm for books, especially in boys.
Books are critically endangered? Do people just sit in front of the telly and watch crime scene or cooking shows? And children don't like to read anyway? Especially not guys? This can be counteracted. Mothers and fathers just have to get up and read Harry Potter to their children. The rest will come by itself.
Arne Ulbricht, born in Kiel in 1972, read the entire Harry Potter book to his son. By the way, his son is a perfectly normal boy who likes to play Lego and has just turned eight. When Arne Ulbricht is not reading to his son, he teaches French and history part-time, drinks red wine and writes novels and short stories. Text excerpts and much more under
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