November 9th, 2016

Why I Read Children’s Literature

“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.”

―Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

 

Almost every morning, my four-year old daughter wakes up begging to look at the sky. She knows that each day the morning will paint something different, something new to look at. The pink of yesterday could today be fiery orange, midnight blue or even the scream of scarlet.

To look at the world through a child is to look at the world anew. Nothing is taken for granted. The ordinary is extraordinary. A spider’s web, regarded by adults as a nuisance to be dusted away, is looked at as a marvel. A leaf lying on the pavement is pocketed, rather than crushed underfoot. And every stone at the beach, no matter how dull, no matter how ordinary, is an instant treasure.

Children’s literature is important because it mirrors how children perceive the world and that is in need of remembering. For a child, everything is possible and nothing is so hopeless that it cannot be overcome. Children are brave and bold; natural adventurers who seek to explore the world. But by the time we are adults, many of us lose this gift. Our lives become smaller and less enchanted. And each day, as we listen to the news, to the media, we are encouraged to begin the day with trepidation, protecting ourselves before we even know what the danger is. Our focus becomes about survival, about getting things done. And so we forget to pay attention, to look around and wonder at the beautiful, ordinary things that are within our reach each day. The world becomes something which merely sustains us, rather than something we enjoy. But in spending time with children, or in the pages of children’s literature, we can find the wonder which we have lost and look again with glittering eyes at the wild magic of the world.

Posted in

Comments

  1. Rae Cowie

    So well said, Megan. We can learn a lot from little children. Going to make time to notice things on this sparkling, frosty day… : )

    - November 11th, 2016

  2. Hayley Thom

    Wonderful words Megan.
    Makes me think twice about how we rush through every day and need to spend more time enjoying the simple things .

    - November 11th, 2016

  3. Shifia Begum

    Wow, Megan, I’ve never met you but I did my PGCE with Kenny, your words have awakened in me the feelings I’ve always had when I were young! Will forever be interested in your Web page now. Being a new mum to a small baby, I promise to preserve and enhance her unique view of the wide world.
    Best wishes to your family,
    Shifia Begum xx

    - November 14th, 2016

  4. Megan

    Shifia! What a lovely comment. Thank you x

    - January 5th, 2017