Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Wisdom of Pixar

This summer I have been reading stacks of children's books to review on my children book review blog, so I've been neglecting my own stack of books.

I've been wanting to read this book - The Wisdom of Pixar by Robert Velarde - and finally got the chance! Velarde consults with Sonlight Curriculum, the curriculum I use in teaching my children at home, so Sonlight has been promoting his book in their materials.

I ordered my children's books for the coming school year, and decided to add one small thing for myself - The Wisdom of Pixar. I just finished reading it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Velarde opens with a quick overview of the philosophy of virtue - a necessary foundation for the rest of the book. I will admit to skimming through it since I was not a philosophy major and I wanted to get to the rest of the book (plus I read right before I go to sleep - not the best time to try to process philosophical arguments).

The rest of the chapters look at different aspects of virtue, including justice, love, friendship, identity, and how Pixar's movies explore each of these virtues. I found it easy to read The Wisdom of Pixar and each chapter left me thinking about the movies and examples of virtue.

I'm also thinking of how this book could be a springboard for great family discussion (or any small group or youth group) on virtue. Velarde includes discussion questions at the end of each chapter, plus a movie discussion guide in an appendix.

I'm thinking a family movie night over the weekend, then reading the chapter as a part of our school week, discussing the questions at the end of the chapter and in the appendix.

When reading the book, it helps to be familiar with all the Pixar movies (before Cars 2). While each chapter focuses on one or two of the Pixar movies, Velarde includes several other movie examples. If your family is like mine, that is not a problem because we love all the Pixar movies.

I highly recommend this book for personal enjoyment, and also for a group discussion. But beware - you cannot cover the entire book in one night.


Luke said...

Glad you enjoyed the book [smile]. And, just for a little more background: Robert works as part of Sonlight's curriculum development team... so we have the privilege of more than just his consulting. It is such a blessing to have him on our team (he helped us produce our new What Good is Christianity? course, for example).


Robert Velarde said...

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. By the way, if you're interested in reading about my amazing tour of Pixar, it's posted here.