Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Busy Tuesday

I think the winner of the "most-profiled" children's writer of 2005 award (if there were such a thing) is Robert Sabuda. Bob Minzesheimer talks to the pop-up wizard for USAToday.

Not much new here, except for after the shark book (hooray!), Sabuda's next title will be Peter Pan.
Alison Gopnik discusses "the real reason children love fantasy" in today's Slate. Gopnik asks the question, "Why are children and fantasy linked at all? Why does the marvelous, the wonderful, the fantastic seem to be the natural territory of childhood? And why do children spontaneously choose the unreal over the real?" I'm not sure only children live in the world of fantasy, but that issue aside Gopnik moves beyond the standard answer that kids need escape from the real world.

Instead, she argues, "Children may have such an affinity for the imaginary just because they are so single-mindedly devoted to finding the truth, and because their lives are protected in order to allow them to do so. "
Kathryn Shattuck covers a beautiful event sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League for today's New York Times. "Fourth and fifth graders from the Brooklyn Amity, Hannah Senesh Community Day and Holy Name of Jesus schools set eyes on each other for the first time. The students - Muslim, Jewish and Roman Catholic, respectively - had come together in the final phase of a group project inspired by Mark Podwal's book Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses, and Crescents."

The children painted pictures of Jerusalem for the exhibit and "students from each of the schools spoke about what they had learned during the project - of myths and legends, of tolerance and even acceptance, of dreams of peaceful coexistence."