The other day I was visiting a writer friend of mine and she said she wanted to write a children’s story. A story in which the reader can extrapolate the meaning and come out better for it.

My very eloquent friend started to tell me her story ideas based on interviews she had conducted in poor communities around Brazil. The stories she told me were heart wrenching. The way she transcribed them was engaging.

I started thinking about what was appropriate subject matter. What realities do characters face in stories we read to young children. How do characters progress from point A to point B? What challenges and conflicts do they face and overcome?
How does that effect the reader?

Hansel and Gretel are kicked out of their home, they fight a witch, they win. They are reunited with their father in the end. They used their wits to succeed.
Harry Potter is bullied, fights the ultimate bad guy, loses many friends, mentors, and family, but life goes on and the series ends happily enough. He was brave in the face of dangers.
And of course, there was magic.

Maybe it’s the magic factor that makes it a story for children…

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Thalya Goldfeld

Thalya Goldfeld, (Masters in Education, CUNY) is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer. Specializes in English language storytelling for young learners.

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