Tag: emotions

  • Tight Times by Shook Hazen and Schart Hyman Analysis

    Tight Times by Shook Hazen and Schart Hyman Analysis

    Tight Times (1979) is an American picture book written by Barbara Shook Hazen and illustrated in graphite pencil by Trina Schart Hyman. Tight Times also happens to be the first ever picture book read by LeVar Burton on America’s Reading Rainbow series back in 1983. I can see why they chose it. This short picture book elicits some strong emotions,…

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  • Extra Yarn by Barnett and Klassen Analysis

    Extra Yarn by Barnett and Klassen Analysis

    Extra Yarn (2012) is a picture book written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Although this is a contemporary story, it utilises fairytale tropes, in a mostly fairytale setting.

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  • Emotion In Storytelling: Catharsis and Crying

    Emotion In Storytelling: Catharsis and Crying

    Does a story (especially a movie) that makes us cry really offer an audience cathartic healing? Researchers say not. Studies show no improvement in mood after this kind of crying. Professor Jennie Hudson is the director at the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University in Sydney, and told Jesse Mulligan at RNZ that after this kind of crying, most…

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  • Boredom and Storytelling

    Boredom and Storytelling

    Why do fictional characters leave the house? Sometimes it’s because they face a crisis and are pushed into action. Melodramatic stories work like that. Sometimes characters are lonely, wanting friends or romance. Sometimes it’s because they’re curious and there’s a mystery to be solved. And sometimes boredom is the motivator. Stories can begin because characters are bored. Boredom drives all…

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  • Emotion In Storytelling: Kindness and Pathos

    Emotion In Storytelling: Kindness and Pathos

    How does a storyteller create pathos in an audience? It’s not done by making a character sad. Nor is it done by simply killing a character off. Characters extending kindness to others is a far more reliable trick.

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  • Loneliness in Art and Storytelling

    Loneliness in Art and Storytelling

    Edward Hopper was a master at depicting loneliness with paint. The sense of isolation is achieved with colour and composition. Eyes don’t meet, or not at the same time. Body language is closed off. Figures are small inside vast spaces, their heads far from the top of the canvas. They gaze from windows as if longing for connection.

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  • Bluey Australian TV Show Storytelling

    Bluey Australian TV Show Storytelling

    Remember that time an episode of British cartoon Peppa Pig was taken off air in Australia? It was the episode which taught kids that spiders aren’t scary. Not a lesson Aussie kids need to learn. Well, fast forward a few years and Australian kids now have their own cartoon series reminiscent of Peppa Pig. Bluey is made at Ludo Studio…

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  • Unrequited Love in Storytelling

    Unrequited Love in Storytelling

    There is a strong bias in storytelling, across the board: In stories of unrequited love, the object of affection is the romantic opponent, not the main character. Time and again, storytellers show the pain of falling for someone else without reciprocation. We very rarely experience a narrative from the point of view of the person who is not in love.…

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  • Emotion in Storytelling: If Only!

    Emotion in Storytelling: If Only!

    I’ve been taking notice of the stories which evoke a strong emotional response in myself, hoping to find some patterns. Sure enough, there are patterns. The ‘If Only’ story resonates especially. The ‘if only’ story evokes the emotion of regret. Saudade Saudade is a Portuguese and Galician word similar to English ‘regret’. It’s pronounced a little like ‘sour-DA-jay’. But English…

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  • Emotion in Storytelling: Psychic Numbing

    Emotion in Storytelling: Psychic Numbing

    Have you heard of ‘psychic numbing’? As the number of victims in a tragedy increases, our empathy, our willingness to help, reliably decreases. This happens even when the number of victims increases from one to two. The Limits Of Human Compassion, Vox (Robert J. Lifton coined the term in 1967.) Psychic numbing is at play when a story about one…

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  • Emotion in Storytelling: Unexpected responses

    Emotion in Storytelling: Unexpected responses

    Storytellers can manage audience emotions by writing characters who do — and feel — the unexpected. In doing so, writers can subvert common emotional tropes to great effect. Why is this technique necessary and so effective? A major element of good storytelling is surprise. The writer’s characters must stand before us with a wonderful clarity, such continuous clarity that nothing…

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  • Emotions In Children’s Literature

    Emotions In Children’s Literature

    There are many things that date a children’s book — racism, sexism and other -isms are widely discussed and relatively easy to pick. I know that when I re-read Enid Blyton or almost anything from The First Golden Age of Children’s Literature these things stick in my craw. Other aspects are a little more subtle. Take the expression of emotions.…

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  • I’m A Fool by Sherwood Anderson Analysis

    I’m A Fool by Sherwood Anderson Analysis

    “I’m A Fool”(1922) is a short story written by American Sherwood Anderson, who was born around the time Lonesome Dove is set, and who died at the beginning of the second world war. So, he came along at the end of the cowboy days, lived through one world war and was heading into another. Anderson had four wives during his…

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  • Outrage News Is Powerful Storytelling

    Outrage News Is Powerful Storytelling

    Recently I played a form of mixed doubles tennis in which the final point is served from female to female, or male to male. At our small club, when it comes to tennis skills there’s no clear division along gender lines. A number of the women can outplay the men. So I mentioned maybe we could ignore that rule, depending…

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  • We Found A Hat by Jon Klassen Analysis

    Earlier this month I wrote a post on Teaching Kids How To Structure A Story. Yesterday I looked closely at Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Sam and Dave Dig A Hole. Today’s picture book is We Found A Hat, which is similar to Sam and Dave Dig A Hole. In both stories, a dream sequence flings the two characters into space,…

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