Empowering individuals to build a stronger community
Children’s Literature by Marge Lewter, president of the Library Board of Trustees
The profound meanings in children’s books sometimes do not become clear until we age. The meaning of a book to a child can be one thing, and something completely different for the parent or grandparent. There are lessons to be learned, actions demonstrated and attachments that stick in our minds. There are memories of reading and being read to, there are shared moments of insight and silly voices that stick in our minds.
Before my daughter was a year old, I read aloud the Barbara Kingsolver novel I was reading at the time, and she liked it just fine. Later, as I got more age appropriate books for her, she had some curious favorites. As time went on, we advanced to more complex bedtime books, but thankfully I kept the simple ones on the shelf. At one point, when I was convinced she was never going to learn to read herself, there was a turning point. She was upstairs alone and I overheard her reading aloud a familiar early story. Alter that she blazed through all the children’s books and on to novels!
Many children’s books have deeper meanings that are simply profound. Life skills are plainly enumerated in children’s books. Like author Robert Fulghum once said, “All I need to know, I learned in kindergarten”! I have a book called the Tao of Pooh and it explains the whole Winnie the Pooh community in terms of Eastern belief system of Toaism. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe seems to be a fantasy, but it has Christian Symbolism throughout.”
Wild Things, the Joy of Reading Children’s Books as an Adult is a book about this very subject. As Bruce Handy states in his book, ”The best of children’s literature is every bit as rich and rewarding in its concerns, as honest and stylish in execution as the best adult literature, and also as complicated, stubborn, conflicted and mysterious. Like any worthwhile art, great children’s books are capable of speaking in many different ways to many different readers.”
Charlottes Webb is a wonderful story about a life well lived and death of a friend. In Horton Hears a Who, there is a statement that “a person is a person, no matter how small”. Isn’t this a wonderful lesson to teach our kids right from the start? Dr. Seuss stories are amazing any way you look at them. The artwork, the rhymes and the messages the rhymes tend to stick in the memory forever. Wow, I just have to think that reading these well-loved books imprints upon the young mind a sense of wonder, and a challenge to be brave, to persevere and to be true to yourself.
HUGE book sale at the Fall Festival: Make us your last stop and load up on books for your winter reading! If you can’t make it, the book barn can be opened on request for browsing. Convert donated books to cash for library support!
Get your $5 raffle ticket for a Barn Quilt at the library. The winner will be selected at the Fall Festival, October 14.
A kindle is also being raffled off for $1 at ticket. Winner to be drawn at Fall Festival.
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