S1E2 - Children’s Books: Can We Hold Onto Adventure?
Every day I see people walking around, heads down, staring at the entrancing device that is the smartphone. You’re probably listening to this podcast on one! Once in a while they might peek up at traffic and prove they know other people aren’t the only ones responsible for their safety, but then back down to the most interesting thing in the world. Yikes, am I missing out? I mean, I have a phone that does all the fancy gizmo stuff, but just like I self-describe as a recovering vegetarian I also feel like “recovered scroller” is a good identifying term. Go away targeted advertising, social media apps, and the constant barrage of news that tries to tell me what to care about and that nothing in my life is newsworthy. Actually, I’m hoping to keep it that way. Besides that, it seems like it would hurt my neck day after day, and I already play violin so gotta keep my neck for those good vibrations. Cue Beach Boys song. When I was a kid, though, books were what sucked me in, and I thank them for that, and also authors who give their wondrous imaginations to all of us in the world. We don’t always remember what forms us, but most of us have memories of certain books that just stuck. Children’s books like the Giving Tree, Peter Rabbit, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Pippi Longstocking, anything by Patricia Polacco, Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, and so many more (list names in episode info). Just like in Polacco’s “Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair,” technology is becoming what takes us away from reality and the things around us that matter, and it isn’t as often anymore that we create pictures in our minds from stories we read or imagine. Beautiful stories and illustrations and infinite wells of creativity pour into engaging with little people who are becoming thinking people. We need all the help we can get, and I see kids and older folks alike on the sidewalks walking and staring at their phones and this scares me. Everyone works daily to find ways to feel the good in life, and books are what helped my mind open up and find worlds beyond all the things I worried about as a child. I adventured in books when I knew I wasn’t ready for certain adventures in real life. Or with fantasy stories, who knows if these things will ever actually come to be? Every year I still find a few books that suck me in and change how I interact, and sometimes I even have to spend a few days in every free moment reading because I need to finish exploring something! I realize everyone explores in different ways, but kids books are a great reminder of what we can do to create worlds with words. I love my family and all the books I was able to find growing up around the house and in the library and in the stores. I devoured them and wouldn’t be me without them! Is it the same for you?