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Sunday, January 11, 2009


Looking to Uncle Wiggily for Inspiration

By Jill Earl

Every so often, I like to turn to children’s and young adult books for a break from adult reading material. In reviewing 2008’s reading plan, I included a section specifically for this type of reading, but I ended up bypassing it for other sections. That won't happen this year.

Why? I find writing inspiration and ideas in the pages. I get to do some serious stretching of the imagination. It’s an opportunity to examine the writing styles of the various authors. And finally, it’s fun!

Top choice for my reading plan will be Howard R. Garis’ Uncle Wiggily’s Story Book, about the ‘bunny rabbit gentleman’ and the adventures he and his animal friends shared as they helped children through day-to-day experiences, such as toothaches, cleaning up after falling into mud puddles, and having safe, homemade fun for the Fourth of July. Even more fun, the edition I have comes with the original black-and-white illustrations from the 1920’s.

Joining Uncle Wiggily will be From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Reading about Claudia and Jamie’s adventures living in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art helped prepare me for my first visit there as a child. It also awakened in me a deep love for art.

What about you? Do you have a favorite children’s or young adult book (or several) that you return to for inspiration, education or fun? I’d love to here about it!

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Blogger A said...

In college I took a few classes in Children's Literature. I studied many amazing books along the way. One of my classes was focused on the Laura Ingalls Wilder books (Little House on the Prairie and such). One of my 5th grade students in NYC started reading the series recently, and I was reminded of the days in my childhood that I enjoyed the books, also of studying them in college and learning even more about the author and writing, and finally, I was also reminded of home (as I come from the midwest). I might have to pull my set off the shelf and dust them off sometime this spring.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

What a fun post!
One of my all time faves is the Wizard of Oz. I think Baum really wrote it for all of us, not just children. He captures the "heroine's journey"--our journey home to our truest selves-- with absolute clarity and wisdom. Revisiting it always brings me home to appreciation for life, family, friends and more.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

To A: My mother purchased the Little House series when I was little, and I frequently went to them to fill in the blanks from the 'Little House' TV series. I also had the 'Little House Cookbook' and made some of the recipes included in the other books with Mom.

To Jan: I enjoyed writing this post! I'm taking my time reading Uncle Wiggily. I liked The Wizard of Oz too. Blessings to you, also!

5:18 PM  

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