Wednesday, October 14, 2009

owl moons and lupines...

Over the last few months there has been an overwhelming response to Spike Jonze's adaptation of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are". I remember when I saw the preview for this movie (and yes, it was at Harry Potter - I have zero shame) and I remember how the trailer brought me to tears. It was insane how moved I was.

It got me thinking about other books I loved as a child. During the time in which my mother and father were trying to mold my young literary brain, books like "Owl Moon" and "Miss Rumphius" were must-haves in my bookcase. I think I read "Owl Moon" at least a hundred times...and when i say 'read', I mean 'stare' at the pictures and get lost in the poetic verses like snow being "whiter than milk in a cereal bowl" and descriptors such as "ink-blue shadows". Between this book and "The Snowman", I became quite obsessed with snow and taking late night walks in the winter. It's amazing to me that I still hold onto these stories as I grow older and they somehow continue to shape my imagination.

"Miss Rumphius" was another example of literary influence that depicted the life of a girl from childhood into adulthood. Her journey was one that gave me an insight into the possibilities of another lifestyle. Her story showed many children that you can still have happiness and create beauty without living the stereotypical lifestyle of a woman. She lives a life without marrying or having children and instead gains other experiences of travel, culture, new environments, etc. and finally settles at the end of the story in a house on the beach scattering lupine seeds wherever she goes -making the places she walks and encounters more beautiful and full of life. That's a pretty rad idea and extremely influential for a young child to hear and carry with them throughout the course of their own life.

I can't help but plug the support of literacy and education programs - possibly because it's part of my job and the importance and influence stories and learning can have on a person of any age is something that can't be taken away.

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