Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursday Thoughts...

“Children don’t read ‘genres’; they read stories. Below a certain age, they don’t distinguish between ‘true’ and ‘not true,’ because they see no reason that a white rabbit shouldn’t possess a pocket watch, that whales shouldn’t talk, or that sentient beings shouldn’t live on other planets and travel in spaceships. Science-fiction tropes aren’t read as ‘science fiction’; they’re read as fiction. And fiction is read as reality. And sometimes reality lives under the bed and has very large teeth, and it’s no use pretending otherwise.” 

 Margaret Atwood, The New Yorker, June 4 & 11, 2012

I love how Margaret Atwood gets inside the mind of a child reader - or listener - and totally gets that there is no real way to differentiate between fiction and reality at times; and that truly things with large teeth may very well live under the bed!

Sometimes thinking like a child offers so much more. We get to be open to the wonder of the world and through books, we get to ask "why not?" when other people's imaginations have taken us on a journey somewhere.

Writing for children is a very special thing - sparking their imagination, helping them see different worlds and ways of being.

I recently sat on the floor to read to a child about 2 years old, whilst her mum was busy getting an exhibition ready. She selected which book she wanted me to read - and I was set, until I realised the whole thing was written in Turkish! Eek. My Turkish is totally, non-existent, but the fun was that the illustrations were so good, together we could make up a pretty good story about what was going on.

Both our imaginations went for a wander, and it made perfect sense that a witch was flying around on a broomstick and landing in gardens looking for her hat, collecting cats and dogs and taking them for a ride on her broom.

Here is the book (in English!)


  1. That must have been fun.... making up the story while looking at the illustrations. I've been known to spend an hour browsing through children's books in the book shop.

    I'm smiling, remembering the jungle of creatures that lived under my daughters beds. Every night my husband would have an all out battle with bears and tigers until he had disposed of them all .... and only then would the girls go to sleep.

    1. What a wonderful memory Robyn. Children's books are amazing...

  2. I'd forgotten what fun a good children's picture book can be.

    1. Me too Gina, sitting and reading together was great fun.

  3. I used to tell people that I only had children for the free books that came with them....... most folk believed me (file under non-fiction)

  4. Just the sight of this book cover in the thumb-nail on my blog made me smile. It is one of my oldest granddaughter's absolute favourites, to be read again and again. In reading it, there is such fun for us both and so much imagining.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.