“[Publishers] also thought that fantasy was very bad for children because it disoriented them…[they] told me that they had great misgivings because they thought that the book was too far beyond children.”
This made me laugh out loud. The Phantom Tollbooth was published in 1961, and it amazes me how much the thinking has changed. I would guess that most children’s books contain some aspect of fantasy.
- Fantasy teaches morals without preaching
- Fantasy expands the imagination
- Fantasy exposes children to symbolism (and you know I like symbolism :)
- Fantasy simplifies hard concepts
- Fantasy is entertaining and makes kids want to read
- Fantasy provides a much needed escape
I remember seeing news reports about people burning Harry Potter books in an effort to protect their kids from witchcraft and evil. And while I respect everyone’s choice to raise their kids how they want, this burning of books made me sad. I think of all the good that can come from fantasy books, but sometimes you must look past the fantastic and the odd—to the essence of the story.
I also feel very strongly about talking though stories with your kids. Help them process the things they read :) Hip Hip Hooray for fantasy!