Escapism in Children’s Books
Children’s books are an incredible form of escapism. That sense of escape is the reason I read them to begin with, to escape the real world and explore a whole new one. As I got older it was to escape my stresses, difficulties, relationship problems and so on. I guess that is where the expression ‘getting lost in a book’ came from.
We all remember our favourite bedtime book, our favourite fairy tale; the magical stories and illustrations that drove our imaginations wild with excitement. I had lost all of my thirst for reading and the craving to lock myself away to indulge in a good book, when reading became a must rather than a want. In fact, it wasn’t until I went to see the movie, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, in 2001 when I was utterly swept away by the magical story of the boy wizard who lived.
In the weeks that followed, I couldn’t get the story out of my head. My twelve-year-old thoughts switched from reality to fantasy- confounded with a longing to be a part of Harry’s world over and over again. This is when I purchased the books that had been published so far in the series. It was the first time that I had picked up a book for pleasure since I could remember, since my father had read me bedtime stories. The excitement was overwhelming and little did I know I would develop a ten year long relationship with J.K. Rowling’s stories and a new found love for reading. She is the one person I wish I could meet, to thank her for inviting me into the world of literature and getting me to read again. I’d go as far to say that I’m not sure I would have majored in Publishing if it weren’t for Harry Potter.
I’m now a grown woman of 22 years, but with the same thirst for escapism in a good story. Even though adult fiction offers a chance to engage and elope with a story, it just isn’t the same as a children’s/YA titles. The talking animals and crazy adventures, the young love stories and entangled mysteries. It is all a part of the innocent imagination of a child, transforming a story that is even more incredible than what is actually written on the page; the idea of inventing more than what the author gives you. I fear with age, my imagination has diminished slightly, however it is still there wondering amongst the realities of life, distracting my mind and pointing me in the direction to write my own children’s story, one that I began writing in September 2010.