Thursday, July 09, 2015

'our childhood remains with us'

"To borrow a phrase from Samuel Johnson, the noble purpose of literature is to allow us to enjoy life more or to endure life better. Children's classics which illuminate the mysteries of life both increase our capacity for joy and strengthen our patience and perseverance. They whet our appetite for life and instill a love of the noble, the heroic, the courageous. They make us rejoice in our childhood and the simple, innocent pleasures which form a lifetime of fond memories, and they remind us that, though we are older, our childhood remains within us and comes alive as we enjoy the company of the young or revel in our children and grandchildren."
~ Mitchell Kalpakgian, The Mysteries of Life in Children's Literature

Lovely illustrations on end paper of book in photo above, Our Animal Friends.
Another page of illustration taken from Our Animal Friends

"My college students began to suspect that maybe they had lost something in growing up--a sense of wonder and a yearning for the taste of the other--that might have been better tended and retained if they had been brought up on more of what we were reading in class. Perhaps the fourth graders they had met were actually nearer than they to the wellsprings of human morality and were better served by reading Pinocchio than they had been by taking a required college course in ethics."
Vigen Guroian, Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination

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