Three-year-olds will often spend all day in the company of tigers and princesses and superheroes.
Older children will invent a detailed imaginary world entire – fictional universes with their own politics, economics, and sociology.
The amazing world of children’s books is only the tip of the iceberg that sparks children’s imaginary characters.
Why are children and fantasy linked at all? Why does the marvelous, the wonderful, the fantastic seem to be the natural territory of childhood? And why do children spontaneously choose the unreal over the real?
A tiny human who is learning about the real world is simultaneously learning about all the possible worlds that stem from the real one. They enjoy being with elaborate and beloved imaginary friends then gently remind overenthusiastic adults that these companions are, after all, just pretend. So why not turn to the imaginary instead of the real?
The spirit of imagination that leads children to read the Narnia books and watch Harry Potter movies. That is what is at the heart of being human.
“Professor Scry has published four books, blogs about the importance of literature and the impacts reading makes on a child.”