What’s your favorite book you’ve read or heard? I have many favorites and so do my kids, and I’m sure you still remember the first time you read its pages. I’ll never forget taking two of my children to see Ladybug Girl and The Bug Squad live. Based on stories written by David Soman and Jackie Davis, the series talks about the many ways that Lulu solves problems and engages in play through the power of imagination. At the time, my older child struggled to read well and still stumbled through some of the words on the pages. I thought it would be great to encourage her by seeing this story come to life, and we got so much more from the experience. Here are four takeaways from the experiences with attending literature turned plays.
Engagement is at an all-time high. Since the kids had an idea of what was going on, they were committed to seeing the story through. They cited common phrases, and the younger one even tried to go on stage (which didn’t help because we had seats closest to the stage). No bathroom breaks, complaints of boredom, or the obligatory “is it over yet.” Literature into plays tends to appeal to children because it’s usually familiar to them through personal experience or through reading the stories themselves.
Anyone can be the character. We saw the characters represented through different ways and different ethnicities. My girls left the theater thinking they could be Ladybug Girl, as did every child whom I had the pleasure of seeing get excited about the play. Plays lend themselves to interpretation by the actors, with each person bringing their unique experiences to the role.
They notice new things. We learned about several new characters that we weren’t familiar with previously. Also, it was interesting in learning the backstory behind Ladybug Girl. These are things we didn’t notice in the book the first go-round.
Sets the stage for more. There were new characters we never heard of in the play but as we learned, they were central to Ladybug Girl’s world. Once we left, they wanted to read all the books Soman and Davis wrote for Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy. It was a fun adventure, comparing and contrasting the different stories and seeing which ones we could find first.
Let’s talk. What plays have you been to or want to see that are based on books? Share your experience below.