Tonight as we cast about for something new to read I decided it was Time for Shakespeare. Moomin’s school just put on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he had mixed feelings about! I wanted to read The Tempest because it has boats and islands in it and have never really liked Midsummer Night’s Dream because people are so schmoopy over it.
I prepared some stuffed animals to be our actors. Prospero was a large lobster and Miranda the smaller lobster. Ferdinand was a rat. Ariel was a small manta ray.
I explained pretty much everything. We stopped to act out and imagine the shipwreck and some of the bits of Ariel and Prospero’s conversation. Moomin was annoyed but laughing at the funny parts and fairly enthusiastic. It was inherently funny that we were doing Shakespeare with rats and lobsters.
Then, during Prospero’s long-winded speech about his studies and his brother Antonio doing most of the governing, he keeps barking at Miranda to see if she’s listening. Dost thou attend? Miranda basically keeps going “Yes, dad… still listening… how fascinating… yawn!”
At some point during this scene Moomin stopped me and said pointedly, “You know how Prospero keeps going BLAH BLAH BLAH are you listening? and Miranda keeps going Yeah yeah I’m listening? Well, that reminds me of the actual reality of right now!”
I argued that the language is pretty, the jokes funny, and the blah blah bits build up to be interesting. He was unconvinced!
Maybe I started the Shakespeare a little too soon?! Or maybe the time is never! Still, I thought it would be nice to read a little, with lobster actors, before it all gets ruined for him in 9th grade by some dull teacher!
I note that my son has gotten a bit of a sharp tongue… I wonder from who…
Shakespeare: not a hit. The Tao Te Ching: Sparked interest and conversation, but ultimately, rejection. The Blue Hawk by Peter Dickinson: Compelling, and good because it was Egypt-ish, but too long winded and going on about souls and signs and the Gods and good government, with not enough action. I should finish the last few chapters of Kidnapped, though they’re also a little boring, which is why I started skipping to new books. I refuse to buckle down and read Animorphs and am going to keep reading weird books to Moomin, that he wouldn’t otherwise read, as long as he will tolerate them!
He did really like Harriet the Spy, at least.