Who is on the plum tree?
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? http://www.cornel1801.com/disney/101-Dalmatians-1961/film7.html
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.