There are some movies I remember watching as a kid that I just didn’t “get.” Why? Because I was too young. Remember, this was in the days before videos and dvd’s. If you wanted to see a movie, you went to the theatre. And if your mother, father, or grandmother wanted to see a movie, you went too (well, most of the time. I couldn’t get my teenage aunt to let me go with her and her date to see Valley of the Dolls).

So off to the movies I went! And most of what I saw before the age of ten left me with nothing but a vivid image or two.  And left me feeling pretty clueless.  Here’s a partial list:

  • Sound of Music (all I remembered was the graveyard scene)
  • Planet of the Apes (all I remembered was the Statue of Liberty at the end)
  • Thunderball (watched this one in my pj’s from the back seat of a VW at the drive-in; all I remembered was the cool underwater scooter-thingies)
  • Gone with the Wind (all I remembered was the scene before intermission with the rotten carrot)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (I remembered a little more: apes and bones, and the cool talking tv/phone)

What’s this got to do with kids and reading? Conversation, of course! (Hang with me a minute more.)

I have never forgotten the cool talking tv/phone thingie in 2001 over all these years. And in fact, every single time I use Skype to talk with my college kid, I think of it! It still amazes me that we are using something, and using it for free, that was in a movie I saw when I was seven! And it stuck with me then and over all these years (a lot of years, trust me, I know, I have a birthday this week) because it was so fantastic, amazing, and almost unimaginable!

Just a few years later, in 1972, Geoffrey Hoyle, a sci-fi writer of the day, wrote a children’s book, 2010: Living in the Future. And Daniel Sinker has a copy of it, still, and has kindly placed every page online where you can read it with your kids. Click here.

And talk. Lots. About the past. About now. About the future.

About what it was like when you were a kid. About what has changed. And what hasn’t.

About what remarkable things have happened since you were a kid their age. They’ll eat it up. It’s fun for all. (And pssst, you’re building literacy and thinking  skills at the same time. But don’t tell them.)

Have fun!