Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Theme thursday - Pure Imagination

This is one of my favorite images from childhood. It's a poem from a version of A Child's Garden of Verses that my mother gave me as a young reader. It's illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone. I have four books illustrated by them from my mother that now sit on Harrison's bookshelf. I can't even begin to tell you how much I LOVE their art. The light, wispy pictures have always enamored me. I wanted to be these children. When I looked at the pictures, they took me to far away places and a feeling of lightness. Where for a moment my world was perfect.

The stories and images lit a fire in my imagination. I would scour the house for everyday things that I could use to create my own little world like I saw in the books. I even made my own ship on our basement stairs that my mom worked around for weeks.

I would go outside and build Indian tee-pees, and line my friends and neighbors up for a musical march, I would sit on the top of hay stacks and sing songs at the top of my lungs to the farm animals - and they always listened.

And it all started with stories and books.

I'm visual and I love the power of the written word combined with beautiful illustrations in the books of children. Especially in vintage books. I LOVE vintage books.

It's hard in today's world for some families to not get caught up in television and consumerism. It's everywhere, for us, I chose books that are not "branded" with the exception of library books that Harrison picks out. Clifford the Big Red Dog often visits our house for a few weeks; but Harrison has only a handful of books that are based on a television show. An Elmo [I spy-type of] book, a few Baby Einstein board books and a reprint of the Disney classic, Pinocchio.

Harrison's grandmother made one request about bringing up Harrison. To read to him. I've kept that promise. Although I don't read enough myself, I read to him. He loves story time.

It sparks his imagination.

I hope that fire keeps burning.

When I think of the word imagination - I can't help but think of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Pure Imagination is one of my favorite childrens songs. After all the movie was birthed from a book and the lyrics could easily refer to the adventure of reading.

Come with me and you'll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you'll see
Into your imagination

We'll begin with a spin
Trav'ling in the world of my creation
What we'll see will defy

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world, there's nothing to it

There is no life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there, you'll be free
If you truly wish to be

Reading allows us to be anyone we want to be, takes us anywhere we want to go and teaches to never stop using our imagination. I only hope that Harrison will always love to read.

Go say hi to Stacy at Land of K.A. today for more imaginaton.

**edited to say that I had a busy day and published this late. I went to Land of K.A. to see that Stacy and I were "on the same page" today! How funny!!


Stacy said...

What a wonderful post, Rose! I love the images you shared from those books. Showing kids how to be creative with everyday objects is just wonderful. I see why you loved it as a kid. :)

Sorry I got slammed with spam today and had to turn on my filter again and it catches posts with links. After the first 200 I figured I should turn it on. >:(

Christina said...

Great post, Rose! It really brings back the memories for me. You're right - I need to get my childhood books from my mom!

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Oh how I remember this too, what a beautiful post.

Terra said...

Robert Louis Stevenson was my favorite author as a child! This brought back some good memories - I need to pick up a copy for Atti.

And yes, these are some fabulous illustrations! Great stuff.