Tuesday, April 15, 2008

passion for children

A Writing Tip from Journalist Peter P. Jacobi that came from the Highlights Foundation. They're gearing up for their annual Chautauqua conference - a wonderful experience for aspiring children's writers. But this isn't just for children's writers. Anyone who works with children does well to remember...

Mr. Jacobi said, "Passion. That's my P word. Boris Novak, in celebrating International Children's Reading Day in 1997, said: 'Adults look at colors, yet do not see them. Adults perceive shapes, yet do not understand their speech. Adults live in light and from light, yet do not notice it at all. Adults cast long shadows, yet do not play with them. Adults take up much (indeed too much) space, yet never just for once marvel at it spaciousness. Adults look at the world with closed eyes. This is why space shrinks, shadows die, light darkens, colors fade, and shapes fall silent. Children are different. Children, with eyes wide open, gaze out at the world and marvel at things. Children play with colors and with shapes. Their play blows away the dust from the faded colors and returns to them the sheen with which they were born. Play brings to life new shapes, unseen and unheard before, fresh in their beauty.' For children particularly, we must have passion."

Isn't it a great quote? Never underestimate the power of play for children - maybe even for adults. Don't we rehearse things or process situations over and over in our minds when we're trying to figure something out?

I'm going to Strong Museum soon The National Museum of Play with some young friends. I haven't been there in a long time. If you're ever in this part of the world it's a very cool place to take your kids. A lot of history and VERY kid - friendly.

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