From the epilogue of Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild”:
Still, the last sad memory hovers round, and sometimes drifts across like floating mist, cutting off sunshine and chilling the remembrance of happier times.
There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have not dared to dwell; and with these in mind I say: Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime.
Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end
Starting in summer 2012, when my son was 3.5, I started reading chapter books to him, a chapter or two a night. Before we started chapter books, it was always easy to find good books to read to them (from board books upwards). Now though, I struggled finding good chapter books for this age group.
I’ve collected a list of the ones we tried, in order, with notes if appropriate. I’m linking all the books to Amazon to be clear which book it was, but we got most from our local library.
Jason’s Quest – A lovely book to start with. A wonderful adventure, which never gets too frightening, or too hard to follow, and the good folks win in a good way.
Fantastic Mr. Fox – Might have been a little too frightening at the beginning, with the mean farmers trying to kill the fox. In retrospect I would have saved it till he was a few months older.
Someone once told me that interesting stories start like this:
Establish what “normal” looks like in your world. If your story is set in present-day New York, you can do that quickly, during the opening credits. If your story is set in Middle Earth, it takes a lot longer.
Break the routine. Frodo has to leave the shire. This is when the story really starts, and why you’re watching it. Today is different.
The remake of the classic 80s series, Miami Vice (2006), fails at number 2. For the whole film, two undercover vice squad detectives go undercover to bust a vice gang. Sure there’s fast cars, guns, all that, but it could of been so much better.
I have been playing Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe, or OpenTTD on and off for a while, but I confess I only understood train signals very recently. The game gets a lot more fun once you can have complex track layouts, so here’s a tutorial on train track layout and signaling for complete beginners.
Building tracks the wrong way
If you’re anything like I was, all your train layouts probably look like this: