The Power of Children’s Stories

This may be the only quote from the “Star Wars” prequels that’s truly worthy of repeating out loud; and rightfully, it came from the mouth of Master Yoda himself: “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is!”

It is indeed! Apart from helping to draw conclusions on where missing star systems went, children are special in having a unique vision on the world that, sadly, is tarnished overtime with hard truths and reality checks. That’s why when I think of children’s stories, I think of what a task it must be to capture the days that have passed that were so youthful and freeing… and in a way to where it can ascend beyond that.

Children’s stories – regardless of what form it takes –  are often created and structured in really specific ways. There’s a certain openness to it, where anything within its universe is accepted as is without question. Everything, from conflicts to knowledge, is more linear; making sense without too many twists and complexities to get in the way or overshadow it. It’s a simpler world, where good and evil, right and wrong, limits and possibilities are as poignant as they get.

Such stories are so simple and straight forward in that way, it’s no wonder then that adults wouldn’t have any business with reading them, even though, as irony plays, adults are the ones who are writing these stories. It’s these adults who have fascinating touches as storytellers; for they’re able to, for a time, remove the lenses of their adult lives and bring their mentality down to earth to the humbling days of youth. They have a magic touch; especially when they successfully capture the imaginations of children in the process.

So what happens then when there are certain children’s stories that do draw in readers far beyond the targeted age demographic? Well, that’s when you know that the creator is one of a different kind, and in a very good way.

It truly takes a lot of effort to create a story that’s both appropriate and captivating for a child. However, to summon adults into the story as well, which more or less involves opening their minds and letting simplicity run free in their often times membrane of rational thinking, that’s when the story goes beyond being just a children’s story. It becomes a story of depth that is exposed with time; where you may reiterate it one way as a child, but then read it again as an adult and you see it in a whole new light. Even if it’s a story one did not grow up with, you know it’s an eternal tale when multiple generations are getting sucked in.

Could it be that kids and adults of today both equally find themselves loving the Harry Potter books? Could it be that books like The Giving Tree and The Little Prince are dissected, analyzed, and then promptly written for thesis papers, for their themes and hidden messages? Could it be that recalling the films of the Disney Renaissance is one thing, but watching it now as an adult is someone of an entirely different, yet good, thing? The answers to all of these things are yes.

I think of stories that I’d ideally like to make available to children one day, and yet also have something to capture the intellectual attention of the thinking adults in their lives too. After all, as C.S. Lewis has once said: “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Children’s stories are narratives essential in one of the most humbling stages of our lives. But when a narrative can ascend beyond the time of our carefree days – regardless of its colorful illustrations, simplistic writing, and straight forward story – that’s when you know it’s a story meant for many.

A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes. Please leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 12 reviews so I’m already just past the halfway point to my goal). Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.

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