Living with Littles Presented by The Dance Academy: Pottering around

by Nicole Loughan Utter

Living with Littles is presented by The Dance Academy. Since 1987, The Dance Academy in Holland, PA has been offering professional dance training with a personal touch, instilling the love of dance to students and families throughout Bucks County. Under the direction of Miss Donnajean Kline (BFA in Dance, Temple University) and staffed by a group of highly-trained instructors, The Dance Academy has acquired countless awards and accolades each year at local, national, and international competitions. Through recitals, competitions, advertising publications, professional companies, and tours; Dance Academy students are spreading their passion for dance both here in the States as well as on international stages. Register now for the 2017/2018 season!

We have some magic in our house. That’s right we are in the throes of full-blown Harry Potter fever. This was made possible by the new illustrated editions of the classic stories. The first two books in the series have been out for a while: “The Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Chamber of Secrets.” The third illustrated book ”Prisoner of Azkaban,” came out just in time to get into the Halloween Spirit or in time to order for the Potter fan on your holiday list. The books are illustrated by Jim Kay and help breathe new life into the nearly 20-year-old series.

Each hardbound book costs over $20, though they are beautifully illustrated and fully worth the price, we checked one out at our local library. The Central Bucks Library system is loaded with the illustrated books and had several copies of the first and second illustrated books on hand.

My daughter, at age seven, loved the first illustrated book. She could read a few pages of each chapter in the book to me, then I would switch off and read to her as well. I think it’s the first book where she was fully engrossed in the plot and wanted to run upstairs every night to see what was about to happen to her new friends Ron, Hermione and Harry.

It was exciting as a parent to read it again, with a fresh perspective.  I highly recommend anybody who liked it when they were younger, read along with the kids, it changes the experience of reading the book. I still rooted for the kids, but as a parent, I now saw all the adults in a different light. I really felt bad for professor McGonagall and those rascally kids who just wouldn’t follow her instructions. Snape still seems pretty bad though. It was so exciting to see a story that I loved presented in a way that young audiences can connect with today.

My daughter seemed to love the book as much as I do and asked to be Hermione or Evie (from the Descendants 2) for Halloween. If you have a young child in school chances are you also have an Evie at home. It’s a safe bet judging by the empty costume shelves marked Evie dress all over Bucks County. Luckily, Harry Potter is just as popular as ever and there are Griffindor Robe costumes available at most shops and sew on house patches available at most fabric stores.

We started book two together, but unfortunately, about a quarter of the way in, things got a little too scary. We decided to put it off until next year. She wanted to know what happened, so we watched the movie, which she found somehow less scary. We will not be watching any movies past the first two for now, as they get exponentially more scary from there.

If you want to know what the professionals recommend for Pottering around Common Sense Media has a guide to everything Harry Potter, including the books, movies and the video games. I don’t just look at the ages recommended in the overall summary, instead, I make my decisions from the breakdowns of each category which rates, violence, language, consumerism, positive role models and educational value.  Common Sense has a listing for the books which can be viewed at the link: Harry Potter Books, and the movies at Harry Potter Movies.

Coming up next year February 1, 2018, local bookstores and libraries will be celebrating what has become known as Harry Potter Book Night. This is a day which comes about as local bookstores get their Harry Potter Kits from Harry Potter Publisher Bloomsbury and create a magical bookstore experience for kiddos. This February the kit will focus on the new spin-off movie and guidebook, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them. To look for Harry Potter news in your area look for #HarryPotterBookNight

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