Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

Story Corner With Dr. NanaPlum: The Hero in us.

Dr. NanaPlum Amazing Books For Children Lemony Snicket “If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.”

Now! Don’t these opening lines capture the imagination immediately? Of course, you are not going to read some other book. You are going to read precisely this one: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket! Children love naughty, mischevious adults that tell them to go away ~ people that are horrible to them and don’t want them around (not in real life). I watch Disney films with my granddaughter and am amazed at how frightening the monsters and the baddies are. How many of you remember Cruella de Vil? Didn’t she terrify the life out of us and make us weep for those poor little puppies?

And what about the ice monster in Frozen and how dangerously close Ana comes to being made dead by her sister’s out-of-control powers? Surely all these images and motifs that are woven into the fabric of childhood help develop discernement and a sense of self-empowerment as we see our heroes battling aganst all the odds and triumphing? As a grandma, I don’t want my beautiful little granddughter to have nightmares and be frightened. But she LOVES being frightened.  She loves being on an emotional rollercoaster with all her heroes and friends. She is reliving every moment of that created world ~ born of imagination and timeless psychological motifs.  She is developing emotional intelligence, resourcefulness, and imagination.

And that’s where children practice being able to meet the world and whatever life will throw at them in the future ~ in their imaginations. The imagination is one of the most powerful abilities we have. It is a special power that makes us into unique super-heroes ~ it is our rehearsal ~ for all we will meet in the future.




About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

4 comments on “Story Corner With Dr. NanaPlum: The Hero in us.

  1. Patricia Tilton
    July 1, 2014

    I really enjoyed your article. I didn’t like my daughter watching violence in children’s movies. But, you are right it does give them a way to work things out in their imaginations.


  2. thiskidreviewsbooks
    July 2, 2014

    Great points (and, Cruella De Vil was CRUEL and EVIL 😉 (though some of my favorite Disney baddies are Ursula, Jafar, and Captain Hook!)).


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