Dreams and Wishes
US edition
Simon &
Schuster, 1996
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Dreams and Wishes:
Essays on Writing for Children
This fascinating collection of essays, compelling reading for any parent, teacher, librarian, or book-lover, contains twenty years of an author’s reflections on the nature of craft, imagination, and her young audience. Some of the topics are focused on fantasy; others range from the theatre to literacy, from poetry to war. At the heart of Cooper’s work is a passionate plea for the recognition, in an image-oriented world, of the all-encompassing power and value of the written word.
The real key to writing for children, Cooper says, is to keep one creative foot in childhood. A therapist might call it nurturing one’s inner child. But Cooper is far too elegant a writer for that. She simply understands her audience, and knows that to succeed she needs to maintain “the strange intuitive immediacy that the creative imagination shares with the alert, unjaded mind of a reading child.” In terms of children’s books, she means have respect for your audience and your own imagination. This book should be handed out in the maternity ward with the free formula samples. Read it if you want to help your child to learn to love words.
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