Earlier today I visited a blog that invited writers to answer a question: Why do I write for children? I didn’t have to take the time to consider this question. I only had to picture my daughter’s face and I had my answer.
Why do I write for children?
I never imagined I would write picture books until my daughter turned two. Night after night she would tell me NOT to read her a book. Instead, she asked me to tell a story I made up–just for her. She’d lead off with a character and a situation, (a princess with the sniffles or a dragon with a loose tooth) and then say, “Go!” And I’d have zero seconds to brainstorm a possible plot. No, not every story was good, and frankly, some of them were downright lousy, but still, she liked bedtime so much more because of this game we played. I loved seeing her eyes widen, her smile grow, and hear her wild applause when I finished.
I write for children because they openly love any amount of silliness in a story, they accept the improbable and impossible, they thrive on magical, and they believe with all their heart in happily ever after.
I write for children because I had a happy childhood filled with memories I never want to forget. Turning those memories into stories keeps them alive.
I write for children because their world keeps inspiring me. Yes, you read that right. their world. My world, the world adults live in, is a serious, rule-filled world with loads of responsibilities. But a child’s world is lived fully. Children live in the moment without thought or care if the dishes are washed and put away.
I write for children because the monster that lives under a child’s bed is as real to them as bills on our desk are to us.
I write for children because when I do, my mind is open to possibilities. I think back to my childhood when I explored the forest with my sister. A fallen tree became a grand ship we co-captained. Squirrels scurrying under leaves were distant pirates. A bird perched high in the branches was our lookout. To our parents, we were playing on a dead tree, risking infection from a splinter or a bite from a spider. Strange how they could never see the tree for more than it was.
I write for children because it’s what I love.