And Then What Happened? Discovering the Thrill of Plot Twists

Eliza Clark
November 11, 2013

Remember the days of reading Mother Goose and alphabet books, Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You? Over and over again?

The memories are fond, but let’s be honest and admit that the books did get a bit dull after several hundred readings. Lovely as those classics are, they don’t have much in the way of plot. None at all, really. That is just as it should be for babies and toddlers, but isn’t it fun when the little ones graduate to books where stuff happens? 

It is an exciting developmental milestone when preschoolers start to gravitate to books and movies with storylines and plot twists. They begin to listen to stories not just for the sounds, rhythms, feelings and images, but also to find out what happens. A story with an interesting plot challenges and expands their comprehension skills, and also, quite simply, keeps them riveted.

What good news for the little ones and their devoted bedtime-reading and movie-watching buddies (that’s us)!

Some of our young children’s favorite plot-points include:

When the fairy godmother appears in Cinderella. She turns the story around in no time.

When Puss in Boots outwits the ogre. He truly is an impressive cat.

When Reginald Von Hoobie Doobie realizes that it is better to be listened to than to be right. And in the process gains a fabulous new friend, Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct.

When Miracle Max brings Westley back to life in The Princess Bride. He wasn’t ready to die!

When Barbarous Bertha arrives to save her daughter Molly from Captain Firebeard and his cutthroat crew. The Pirate Girl was actually holding her own pretty well, but sure was glad to see Mom in the end.

When Alice spies the White Rabbit and follows him down the rabbit hole into a magical world. And that’s just the first of many strange twists in the story of Alice in Wonderland.

When Buzz Lightyear realizes he’s actually a toy rather than a real astronaut. Toy Story fans love him all the more.

When Ira realizes that his friend Reggie also sleeps with a teddy bear with a funny nickname. He has a good night after all in Ira Sleeps Over.

When a very young princess displays more wisdom and intelligence than a Lord High Chamberlain, a Wizard and a learned Mathematician combined. Disaster is averted in Many Moons.

When the downtrodden serving girl Miggery Sow and Princess Pea become allies in The Tale of Despereaux. Together they can’t be beat.

Please share! What are you kids’ favorite plot twists and cliffhanger moments?

From the Parents

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