What age for the Tale of Despereaux - Mothering Forums
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
lovetomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When do you think this book is appropriate to be read aloud to a class. I am really curious about your thoughts as it's being read out loud in my daughters class right now, and she is soooo not ready for it. So, my next question is what would you do, in this situation?
Thank you very much for your responses.
lovetomom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 03:29 AM
 
orangewallflower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 394
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Such an interesting question, and I like that you have framed it in this way. I actually read it to my 6 y/o last year. I think I'd be comfortable with a third grade class. But really, I think this is a better one-on-one book. It is lovely, but I just don't know about it in a class situation. I also tend to be biased against books that have pretty current movies associated with them. Will be curious to know what others think.
orangewallflower is offline  
#3 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 08:03 AM
 
Momily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The camp counselor read it to my son's group the summer between Kindergarten and First grade. I felt like he was too young to grasp all of it, but seemed to enjoy what he did get out of it.

I'd expect it more around 3rd grade as the PP said.

How old is your child?
Momily is offline  
#4 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 11:37 AM
 
mamalisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Germantown WI
Posts: 8,323
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Ds's teacher read it in second grade and he adored it. He even made me go buy it He's a bit of an advanced reader though, so I can't speak for other kids.
mamalisa is online now  
#5 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 02:11 PM
 
annethcz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: on the beautiful prairie of MN
Posts: 9,825
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I read that book to my kids when they were ages 3, 5, 6, and 7 (before the movie was made). Certainly a lot of it went over the heads of the little ones, but they enjoyed the book.

New signature, same old me: Ann- mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, partnered to a fabulous man.
I'm an unintentional weasel feeder and I suck at proofreading.
annethcz is offline  
#6 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 03:59 PM
 
LuckyMommaToo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,523
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I tried to read it to DS this summer (he was almost 6). We've done a lot of chapter books, but this one was really intense. We ended up not finishing it. I think 8 would be a good age.
-e

Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

LuckyMommaToo is offline  
#7 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
lovetomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So..I really appreciate your responses. My daughter turned 7 in August, she is in grade 2. This book is way more intense than anything we have ever read. My daughter said a few other kids, one in particular, is also scared by it.

I am nervous to confront the teacher. We are new this year, and my daughter won't want to be removed from the read aloud time. I would love your suggestions.
lovetomom is offline  
#8 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 05:20 PM
 
sunnysandiegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,404
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Last year, my DD was in a grade 2 and grade 3 combo class as a 2nd grader. The teacher came from a background of teaching 5th grade most recently, but had taught various elementary grades overall. She read this book as a read-aloud with the whole class (many things were separated by grade, but not everything) and followed it up with a field trip to the movie. Ordinarily, my DD is quite sensitive and doesn't even LIKE movies due to loudness, violence (even little stuff the average kid thinks is normal), etc. I encouraged her to talk directly with her teacher about her concerns regarding the book and the movie. I offered to be there for support (as I have done many times in the past; up until midway through 2nd grade, she always wanted that just before age 8, though, she stopped needing that so much). DD handled it with her teacher on her own. Her teacher was/is particularly approachable by kids and DD thought the sun rose and set on her, so it was easy for her. I drove the teacher and DD to the field trip and offered to come inside, but DD was okay sitting with her best friend and knowing her teacher was nearby. This was near the end of school last year and I am pretty sure every single student was age 8 or older.

Instead of "confronting" the teacher, I recommend talking to your DD and asking her what she would like for you to do. Eventually, she has to learn to handle things on her own.....with appropriate support and training along the way, of course.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

sunnysandiegan is offline  
#9 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
lovetomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sunnysandiegan,
I think your idea is a great one. My daughter, however, is willing to put up with it and isn't comfortable talking to the teacher about it bothering her. Equally as important to me though, is that just don't think the content of that book is appropriate as a read aloud for grade 2. I have recently learned that the class is socially quite divided and I think giving them more intense ideas to play out only makes that kind of stuff more difficult.
lovetomom is offline  
#10 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 06:32 PM
 
zinemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: from the fire roads to the interstate
Posts: 6,295
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My son's teacher read it aloud when he was in a 1/2 combo class. The only thing I ever heard about the book (from him) was that it was really wonderful and a great story and he couldn't wait till the next chapter.

Fast forward two years later and my friend's first grader is in that class and the teacher is reading the same book. Friend's kid is having nightmares because she has a cough and is afraid she might start to cough up blood and DIE like the kid in the book. She was super distressed.

My son vaguely remembered something about that, but it clearly didn't faze him at the time - and he can be a sensitive kid. All of which is a long way of saying that there's no "right age" but it's more about the individual child.
zinemama is offline  
#11 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 07:46 PM
 
Noah's mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: South of the Equator
Posts: 465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I read it aloud to my third graders near the end of the year. I read ahead to make sure I could discuss or clarify with my students. I personally prefer "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" by that author.

Mama to Noah and Sophie and Stella 7/4/ 2010
Noah's mommy is offline  
#12 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 08:02 PM
 
SimonMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wouldn't have a problem with ds1 (6) in first grade listening to that as a read aloud.

mom to jumpers.gif crazy boys
SimonMom is offline  
#13 of 23 Old 09-25-2009, 09:39 PM
 
Momily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Could you get a copy and read it with her, staying a little ahead of the teacher? Maybe if she heard it for the first time in the comfort of Mama's arms where she could stop and ask questions, and get reassurance etc . . . it wouldn't seem so scary, and she could learn some important messages about conquering fears etc . . .
Momily is offline  
#14 of 23 Old 09-26-2009, 01:49 AM
 
sunnysandiegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,404
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetomom View Post
Sunnysandiegan,
I think your idea is a great one. My daughter, however, is willing to put up with it and isn't comfortable talking to the teacher about it bothering her. Equally as important to me though, is that just don't think the content of that book is appropriate as a read aloud for grade 2. I have recently learned that the class is socially quite divided and I think giving them more intense ideas to play out only makes that kind of stuff more difficult.
I wouldn't hesitate to bring MY concerns to a teacher's attention. Perhaps send a brief note asking to speak to her and give your phone number or suggest a time to meet? (If you have email, use that.) I would approach the topic by asking about the lesson plan surrounding this book and then express your concerns.

I would personally have my daughter with me and help her discuss her concerns with the teacher and then ask her to play in another area while I discussed my concerns with the teacher. (Or flip-flip the order.) If I got the information regarding the issues I had from my DD, then I would discuss it all with her there. That's just MY style, though. You have to do what is right for you....

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

sunnysandiegan is offline  
#15 of 23 Old 09-26-2009, 02:28 AM
 
WalkingByFaith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 125
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ds read it last year when he was 6 and didn't seem bothered by it. He'd fill me in on the plot as he read it and I don't remember him mentioning anything too intense or scary.
WalkingByFaith is offline  
#16 of 23 Old 09-26-2009, 02:43 AM
 
1growingsprout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,666
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We started reading it at home when the youngest participant was three. (i had younger kids but didnt read it to them) I tend to be a lot more liberal on books then movies, meaning my 7yr old probably wouldnt see the movie even though she read it as well as younger siblings. if that made any sense
1growingsprout is offline  
#17 of 23 Old 09-27-2009, 09:43 AM
 
Oriole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: by the ocean, lakes and mountains
Posts: 4,191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think it's perfect for a 6-7 y.o.

However, if my child told me they were not comfortable with a book I would definitely contact the teacher. No confrontation is necessary, it's a simple "I heard you were reading this story, and DD says she is a bit scared when you read the book. Any suggestions how to resolve this?"

Good luck in addressing it. Don't be afraid to bring it up. No teacher wants a scared child in their class.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
Oriole is offline  
#18 of 23 Old 09-28-2009, 10:24 AM
 
itsmyturn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also have a sensitive 7yo DD. If she is exposed to something scary, it will effect her for days.
If I thought this book was to scary for my child I would address it with the teacher. They should let her go to the library or something else while it is being read.
itsmyturn is offline  
#19 of 23 Old 09-28-2009, 01:34 PM
 
rainyday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I think it's perfect for a 6-7 y.o.

However, if my child told me they were not comfortable with a book I would definitely contact the teacher. No confrontation is necessary, it's a simple "I heard you were reading this story, and DD says she is a bit scared when you read the book. Any suggestions how to resolve this?"

Good luck in addressing it. Don't be afraid to bring it up. No teacher wants a scared child in their class.
: I think Oriole has a great suggestion there for how to approach the teacher.
rainyday is offline  
#20 of 23 Old 09-28-2009, 10:31 PM
 
ecoteat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah's mommy View Post
I read it aloud to my third graders near the end of the year. I read ahead to make sure I could discuss or clarify with my students. I personally prefer "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" by that author.
I read Edward Tulane to my 3rd/4th class a few years ago. We all completely loved it. It was powerful to read such a touching book with a group of compassionate kids.

(But I haven't read Despereaux, so I don't have anything helpful to say about that!)
ecoteat is offline  
#21 of 23 Old 09-29-2009, 06:37 PM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
DH read it to our girls in advance of the movie. Dd1 was 7 or a young 8 (in 2nd grade)and dd2 was a young 5. I thought it might be too intense, but I think they enjoyed it with Daddy. Not sure how they would have handled it in a school situation. Dd1 is really very sensitive and was scared of several Magic Treehouse books in 1st grade read in first grade. She was clearly outside the norm, though, as most of the kids in her class really loved them. Her teachers this year (3rd grade) have been reading Roald Dahl and apparently she's eating it up!?

I think Despereaux is probably age appropriate for second grade, but some second graders may find it too intense.

Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is offline  
#22 of 23 Old 10-01-2009, 01:36 PM
 
MomInFlux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: the beautiful mountains of sunny Southern California
Posts: 1,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm currently reading it at bedtime to my 8 and 5 year olds. They're very engaged, even though the 8yo already read it to himself. Neither is particularly sensitive to scary things, though, and I can see the book being a bit intense for kids who are more sensitive than mine.
MomInFlux is online now  
#23 of 23 Old 10-01-2009, 01:46 PM
 
Drummer's Wife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Land of Enchantment
Posts: 11,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DD is 8 and is currently reading it for the 2nd time.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
Drummer's Wife is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off