Giving Wings to Once Upon a Time: Why you should read fantasy to kids
Editors Note: This is a guest post by Fantasy writer Jackie Gamber in a blog tour she is doing for the next book in her Leland Dragon Series “Sela” the follow up to “Redheart”. We truly appreciate her taking the time to write this and really give us lazy bastards here at WPR a reason to up our writing game
I remember being a kid. It was a long time ago, but memories are etched as deeply as the scent of grass, the sight of fluffy underbellies of passing clouds. I remember the thrill of my first solo bike ride, and finally being tall enough to ride the roller coaster.
And I remember my imagination, and how I used to play.
My playmates and I would hunt trolls, or fairies. We would build tiny rivers from puddles, and dig magical tunnels through snow banks. Sometimes I was a captured princess. Sometimes I was the hero out to save her. Always, I played, and dreamed, big.
And I liked my stories the way I liked to play. Big.
Not thick, as in War and Peace. Not large, as in the oversized-print version of the King James bible.
Big, as in: Evil has reared its ugly head again, and, again, I’m going in to save the day.
Did I understand evil to be the kind splashed around in newspapers? The sort of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ that is such tragedy in the lives of real people, every day? The taking of children, the killing of innocents? No. That’s the kind of evil only a more mature, experienced mind can grasp. I was a kid. I wasn’t ready to see the dark side of life.
But I knew life had a dark side. It doesn’t take us long, as kids, to figure that out.
Fantasy wraps life’s darkness in easy-to-read packages. A beastly giant. A hulking monster. A wicked witch.
And fantasy paints heroes in easy-to-spot colors. Kids watch them overcome, despite all odds. Kids see triumph; they come to know it. Understand it. See how it’s done.
Fantasy fiction gives kids a chance to learn how to stand up. Stand out. Stand tall. So that when darkness comes calling, they know to grab their sword, don their courage, and get out there, swinging.
Fantasy is a life lesson at its finest.
Because one day, either very soon or far away, every kid is going to wake up older. More mature, and experienced. And they’re going to see the dark side of life for what it really is.
They’re going to see how Evil has reared its ugly head.
And, with courage, perhaps wrought in their hearts by learning from fantasy heroes, they’ll see that they need to save the day.
Jackie Gamber is the award-winning author of “Redheart” and “Sela”, Books One and Two of the Leland Dragon Series, now available! For more information, visit Jackie’s Amazon author page at http://amazon.com/author/jackiegamber