Library of the Early Mind

Being a big fan of both kids lit and documentaries, you can imagine my delight when earlier this week I stumbled upon the trailer for a new documentary about kids lit!  It’s called Library of the Early Mind and if you click on just one link all week let it be that one.  You’re in for a treat.

As you’ll see, the producers have interviewed some of the best authors, illustrators, and critics in contemporary kids lit.  I am always interested in learning more about the authors behind the books I read, so getting to see clips from the interviews of Lois Lowry, Mo Willems, Chris Van Allsburg, and others in the trailer was in itself enough to hook me.  I’m curious to see how the filmmakers put together all of the different perspectives and what the overarching message of the documentary will be.

The entire genre of children’s literature is the documentary’s subject matter, and even though here at Aslan’s Library theological books are our primary interest, I’m thinking that the film would be a good catalyst for a couple of posts about how we relate to and interact with the world of kids lit beyond books that are distinctly Christian.

It looks like the film is scheduled to premier at Harvard this October.  Here’s hoping that it shows in the Twin Cities so that Sarah and I can go see it and then talk about it here!  If it does, would anyone be interested in joining us?  It would be a great opportunity to get together with some of you who are local!

3 thoughts on “Library of the Early Mind

  1. I have long liked most of Lois Lowry’s books — I thought her quote on the trailer was interesting — she said that she creates a world that doesn’t (and can’t) exist, and is therefore fantasy, but to her it is “very real.” I thought that was insightful because fiction, to a child’s mind, will always be more “real” than it would for an adult. The line between fantasy and reality is less distinct for a child than it is for an adult — hence, children who have imaginary friends that they talk to are cute, whereas adults who have imaginary friends that they talk to are given meds and counseling. It was a good reminder to me that we need to make worlds dealing with what is true both accurate and attractive. It was also a reminder that imaginary worlds that present what is false in an attractive manner will be more enticing and believable to a child than they would be for an adult (for example, “Daddy and Papa”, which makes homosexual family relationships seem normal, everyday, and even kinda fun or interesting.)

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