When will you start reading Harry Potter with your child? Will you start with the classic books or the illustrated series? I’m excited to read them with my children, but can’t decide when is the “right” time to start. (Piggybacking off of Mrs. Chocolate’s post about books)
clementine / 940 posts
We started reading #1 when DS was 4.5 yo. He recently turned 5 and we are half way through 2. I’m going to pause after 2 bc I think books 3-7 are a little too scary for him right now
pomegranate / 3595 posts
@mrsbookworm: my DD just turned 7. She wants to watch the movies but I told her she has to read the books first. So she got the first book for her birthday and we have been reading it together. It has been fun!
cantaloupe / 6171 posts
I've been wondering about this too! Though, lo1 is 4.5 and was looking through a lego catalogue we got in the mail just yesterday, and said the HP set looked "too scary" and asked me to sit with her while she read it. If the catalogue w no other context is scary, the books def are still!
persimmon / 1023 posts
As a massive HP fan, I am counting down the days/years to this. My son is newly 4 yo and I plan to wait until 7/8 likely. I have bought him the illustrated versions of the books that are available but he’s just now getting into short illustrated chapter books for bedtime reading. I want him and my younger son to hopefully be old enough to understand them, the themes and intricacies to the characters and world, and not be traumatized by some of the darker parts. Would love to read the whole series straight through as well which I think leans towards the 9/10 and up ages. I also bought my younger son an illustrated set of chronicles of narnia which I can’t wait for.
I’m torn between reading the original UK versions I have that are very ratty and well loved or going with the illustrated ones. The artwork is beautiful and I would have bought them regardless because ‘mega nerd’ but I kind of like the idea of no pictures for maximum imagination.
My coworker just started HP this year with her 11 year old and they are having a fantastic time with it. It’s her favourite part of the day. Can’t wait!
grapefruit / 4278 posts
E is 6 now and I don't think it would necessarily hold his interest right now. He's much more into silly humor books like captain underpants at the moment. I think we'll start in another year or so if he shows interest. I have the first two books in illustrated version, so I'll start with those.
persimmon / 1023 posts
@nana87: ha, we have the illustrated books (1-3) on DS1’s shelf and he also thought it looked scary without us even reading them! I’m gifting them to him every year one comes out to read when he’s older, but beyond one time flipping through at his request, they are collecting dust! Maybe the colour choices and artwork seem dark and therefore scary to kids or something.
apricot / 398 posts
I also can’t wait for this! We’re going to wait until DD is 7/8. I want to read them straight through without worrying about them being too scary. I’m also going to read the originals (non-illustrated).
wonderful pear / 26210 posts
I think the guidance is to read the books to your child when they are the same age as HP is in the stories.
I began reading the illustrated version to my son last year at age 7 and he is completely underwhelmed by it, I can't figure out why, so we put it aside. We've been to Universal Studios and done the HP attractions that were age appropriate, like purchasing the interactive wand but he has not asked to go back, read the books or watch the movies.
persimmon / 1420 posts
I started reading it to my twins when they turned 6. We made wands together, and I had been talking about it for a while. It holds their interest for about a half a chapter- though sometimes a whole chapter, depending on the content- at a time, and they are eager to read every night.
ETA- we are reading the illustrated versions.
pomelo / 5628 posts
We’ve read the first two illustrated and DS is 6 now. I think we started after he got them for Christmas last year. He was totally engrossed. Now he’s into the Pottermore site.
I’m not sure when I’ll start #3 because of the Dementors...it’s definitley scarier. But I think within the year he’ll be ok with it.
Nothing scared him in the first two but he doesn’t have tons of fears. I just don’t want to create any new ones!
blogger / pomelo / 5400 posts
So I'm not really into Harry Potter but my son's teacher specifically asked us to hold off on the books unless he's absolutely clamoring for them (he's 7, and a fairly advanced reader) because in her opinion, the themes can be too mature for kids his age. I'm fine complying because he's a total scaredy cat anyway.
pineapple / 12566 posts
I read the entire series with my son over about 6 months starting at the end of the school year last year when he was almost 7.5. He LOVED it. We have the first 3 illustrated ones and then a mix of UK and US ones for the rest of the series. Some of the passages are above his level though, and I would ask him if he understood and we would talk about them. One of the added benefits is that sometimes when we talk about real life situations I can draw upon HP concepts to help explain things. And we have some HP-related inside jokes since my DH isn’t into the series.
nectarine / 2085 posts
I am taking the same general approach as Mrs. Chocolate. They're there on the shelf with other books I'd like him to read, but I'm not in a hurry. There are a lot of fantastic children's books for younger children!
I feel like HP is best suited for children 9 and up, and for some of the later volumes even older than that, so I probably won't suggest Book 1 until well into next year.
nectarine / 2641 posts
I started at (newly) 5 with DS1, but we only get one a year at Christmas, so he’ll be older by scarier books. He’s loved it so far. But now DS2 (3.5) is listening, so there goes that plan I don’t think DS2 really gets it, though.
pomegranate / 3272 posts
I've been gifting DH the illustrated books for Christmas as they come out b/c I know he's eager to read them to our boys. DS1 is 6 and originally was asking to watch the movies as he'd see some that were just on tv. We told him that he had to read the books first and told him we would start when he turned 6. He originally asked around his birthday but hasn't really followed up. I'm happy to wait until he's a bit older.
pear / 1823 posts
Thanks for all your responses! My original thought was to wait until he was 8ish. He keeps asking about them because of older cousins though. I think I’ll still hold off. I’d like to be able to read them straight through rather than spacing it out so that lends itself to an older age group.
grapefruit / 4584 posts
@mrsbookworm: I’m so excited for this, but waiting until at least 8 (she’s currently 6.5) both because the books get scary/mature quickly, and also because I don’t want it to be over too soon. We absolutely blew through the Ramona books and other Beverley Cleary titles last summer, and I’m sorry that they’re over! I’m sure we will read them again, but still.
cherry / 235 posts
@mrsbookworm: At 6.5 my oldest got the first illustrated one for Christmas, but he wasn't interested in reading until almost 7.5. We read it together, I do a majority of the reading. When we first started he really wanted to read it but would stop me and we would take a few days/weeks off if he thought it was too scary. Now he's close to turning 9 and we're half way through book 4.
He's only allowed to watch the movie after we've finished the book; so he's seen 1-3.
At this point he's obsessed with everything Harry Potter and very eager to read the books. But I just watched the final movie myself a few weeks back and was reminded of how mature the series gets and am wondering if he'll be able to understand/handle the themes in the later books. I think we might take a break once done with book 4 and slow down our pace.
nectarine / 2964 posts
I started reading the first book of Harry Potter to DS (turning 7 at the end of the month) a few weeks ago, it was/is a LOT of fun! I am just reading the classic one (no pictures) I can get my hands on in the library. It is a little rough to start (chapter 1 and 2 are fun and super engaging, but you can get distracted after that before it gets exciting again) as there are so many characters and terms, but after that it was a piece of cake, and I look forward to reading to him every night as I have never read harry potter before myself lol. He pays more attention than I do and he gets all the details. When it gets confusing I'd usually search for an image of the characters from the movie so we can envision how they look like and continue to picture the story as I read it through. He said he has the whole picture (scene) in his head as I am reading to him. We are planning to watch the movie when we finish the first book.
Last night we were at the part where Harry discovered the mirror where he can see his family in it waving at him. This morning I got up and walked into the bathroom. I turned around, DS was outside of the bathroom door waving at me. He said it was the Harry Potter mirror Cracked me up!
It is nice to have an incentive for DS to go take a shower at night, as "the earlier we finish taking a shower and brushing teeth, the earlier we can read and longer we can read" We read anywhere from a a few pages to a full chapter each night.
I am planning on continuing to finish book 2 and probably stop until he is older. I read on the internet that after book 2 it is more for young adults. I really enjoy it now, and I am starting to wonder what I can read to him after I finish the first two books!
My neighbor gave this idea to me but I think her DS (7 now, 4 months older than us) are not as interested.