Local third-grader tries his hand at movie reviews
Last fall, when Zhu Shen met with her son Perry’s third-grade teacher she learned that he was “decoding words at high school level,” a fact that didn’t surprise her given what she calls “…his voracious appetite for knowledge.”
Perry enjoyed writing the book reviews that he and the rest of his class were assigned by their teacher at Torrey Hills Elementary. But the 9-year-old also loves a really good movie. So much so that, in October of 2008, Perry Shen began writing movie reviews.
“I thought it was a great motivating way for Perry to grow as a writer,” said Joli Harris, Perry’s teacher. “It is fun to collaborate with students and parents on projects that are enriching and engaging for students like Perry who are often bored with the grade-level curriculum.”
Shen encourages her son to understand the deeper essence of the movies, not just why he likes them. “I wanted to see how he views the movies from a child’s perspective, which is fascinating,” Shen said.
Perry’s favorite movie is “Charlotte’s Web,” the original cartoon. “It showed how a spider can save a pig and that size doesn’t matter,” Perry said. “I like sentimental movies.”
Perry had wanted his mother to watch the movie with him for some time and after she did she realized why he liked it so much. “There were so many lessons about friendship and loyalty and life and death, “Shen said. “He was so moved by that. He was very young but could still understand very deep, abstract concepts.”
Some of Perry’s other favorites are “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille” and “Azur & Asmar.” He writes one to two reviews every week and doesn’t takes notes.
Perry continues to grow and learn as a critic and a writer. Recently he met and interviewed Michael Ocelot, the director of “Azur & Asmar,” at a San Francisco screening for his movie, “Kirikou and the Sorceress.”
Perry’s successes are the result of a true collaborative effort. According to the principal at Torrey Hills, Susan Paul, “Perry’s success with writing movie and book reviews reflects that amazing combination of a talented student encouraged by involved parents and dedicated teachers working together.”
When asked if he’d rather watch the movie or read the book Perry responded, “I’d rather watch the movie.”
Spoken like a true kid.
For more information on Perry and his reviews, visit www.perryspreviews.com.
Perry reviews ‘Coraline’
Four out of Five starfish
Do you ever wish that you had two mothers, a Real Mother and an “Other” Mother? If you had an Other Mother, what would she be like?
A girl named Coraline is about to find out!
Coraline had just moved to The Pink Palace and finds her life thrown in turmoil when she is trapped with her “friendly” Other Mother, who gradually shows her dark side and turns into a ruthless witch.
Coraline’s overworked real parents are too busy to afford what she wants, so she thinks her caring, button-eyed Other Mother is the solution, but she is actually the problem.
Coraline’s new dim-witted friend Wybie’s black cat, whom Coraline nick-named “Wuss Puss,” starts going into the Other Mother’s world and begins to talk in a low, eerie voice. Wuss Puss warns Coraline, but it is too late. The Other Mother steals Coraline’s real parents. Coraline must call upon courage she never knew she had to free her parents and herself to the outside world.
With amazing 3-D effects, “Coraline” is a spectacular movie. And for every scene, you want to know what happens next.
Sometimes imagination can become reality, so don’t mess with it.
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