The BFG became an immediate favorite of mine while I read it to the class I student taught. To say Roald Dahl has talent would be an understatement. So, it was a no-brainer that I would read it to my own kids. But, what prompted me to read it to them now is the performance of it at the local university.

The local university has a program called “Schooltime Series.” The university’s theatre presents shows selected to match the local school systems’ curriculums. And at a small ticket price, schools and homeschoolers can enjoys shows all year long. I chose to buy tickets to several shows this year, one of them being The BFG.

Those tickets were bought back in August. So, naturally I put it out of my mind. Until the show was less than a week away! Why the exclamation point? Because I ideally like my kids to read a book before seeing an adaptation of it. Get through the BFG in a couple of days? Nope. I decided right away not to rush it. We were going to enjoy story, the time together while I read it to them, and we weren’t going to force chapter after chapter after chapter.

And that’s how it played out. We went to see the show on January 26th, having read only half of the book. But my kids really enjoyed it! They loved seeing how the performers were able to make a tiny Sophie and a giant BFG.

I enjoy letting my kids watch the adaptation (whether movie, T.V., or stage versions) of a book. Here’s why:

  1. They naturally contrast the show to the book. They see the differences between the text and the show. It’s even better if you can get a discussion going about whether those differences impacted the story in any way. We noticed the stage version of The BFG included a female giant. The text specifies that giants are only males. But we concluded that it did not affect the story over-all.
  2. They also naturally compare the show to the book. They nod their heads when they identify something that matches the book. And I think there is a sense of accomplishment when they are able to recognize elements from the book. They say things like, “that was just like in the book!”
  3. They get to see that the text can be interpreted differently. Sophie doesn’t look exactly the same in each reader’s imagination. So, seeing it on stage shows another way of seeing the story. And it makes for great discussion. “Did you picture the BFG looking like that?”

In this case, my kids could only do these for the first half of the book. But we’re still working our way through the remainder of the story, and enjoying it. When we’re done, we’ll have lots more to discuss. Then, we’ll watch the upcoming big screen version and do it all over again! In case you want to get excited with us, here’s a link to the trailer!

What are your favorite book adaptations? Let me know in the comments!

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