Tag: fantasy

  • When The Sky Is Like Lace by Horwitz and Cooney Analysis

    When The Sky Is Like Lace by Horwitz and Cooney Analysis

    When The Sky Is Like Lace (1975) is a picture book written by Elinor Lander Horwitz and illustrated by Barbara Cooney (1917-2000). If you read Wind in the Willows and wanted more otters, this one’s for you. (I’m not familiar with otters but I think these may be river otters rather than sea otters?)

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  • The Tunnel by Anthony Browne Picture Book Analysis

    The Tunnel by Anthony Browne Picture Book Analysis

    The Tunnel is a picture book written and illustrated by British author/illustrator Anthony Browne. The Tunnel was first published in 1989. SETTING OF THE TUNNEL In the 1980s it was far more common for kids to be sent out of the house because their mothers were sick of them (and it was almost always the mothers doing the caregiving). “Get…

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  • Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg Picture Book Analysis

    Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg Picture Book Analysis

    Jumanji is a 1981 picture book written and illustrated by American storyteller Chris Van Allsburg. You may be familiar with the 1995 film adaptation starring Robin Williams.

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  • The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee

    The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee

    The World of O is a trilogy of fantasy novels by New Zealand author Maurice Gee published 1982-1985. The Halfmen of O (1982) is the first of the series. We might call this series The New Zealand Chronicles of Narnia with a bit of sci-fi thrown in. There are also tropes recognisable from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

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  • Magic Words and Spells

    Magic Words and Spells

    In children’s fantasy, enchanted realism and magical realism, there is often an arc word (leitwort) which enters popular lexicon, or sticks in the mind long after the reader leaves the story. These magic words sometimes become a part of the child’s own imaginative play, an improvised version of early childhood fan fiction. Where Do Magic Words Come From? Imagine a…

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  • How to become invisible

    How to become invisible

    For this one you must go to Iceland. Once in Iceland, get your hands on a magical text full of spells and suchlike, a.k.a. Icelandic grimoires. But to save you the trouble, refer to the recipe below.

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  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Storytelling

    The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Storytelling

    So much has been said about Narnia already. Can I add a single thing to the corpus by blogging about storytelling techniques in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? Probably not, but my 10-year-old is studying this novel at school. She’s home sick today. I know the rest of her class is watching the 2005 film adaptation this afternoon…

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  • The Cat Returns Storytelling Notes

    The Cat Returns is a 2002 feature-length anime about a teenage girl who is transported against her will into a feline fantasy world after saving a cat’s life. Writer Aoi Hiiragi also wrote the script for Whisper of the Heart. This is a sort of sequel to that, where the main character writes this story. In written form, this is an ‘urban…

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  • Storytelling Tips From Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce (1958)

    Storytelling Tips From Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce (1958)

    A descendent of The Secret Garden, sibling of The Chronicles of Narnia and ancestor to The BFG, Tom’s Midnight Garden is an influential and much-loved book which won the Carnegie Medal. In Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce the moon is heavily symbolic. Night = day as the fantasy world = the real world. This middle grade novel is an…

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  • Portal Fantasy and the Symbolism of Doors

    Portal Fantasy and the Symbolism of Doors

    Portal fantasy or portal speculative fiction is a story which transports the characters into a magical world via a gate/wardrobe/magical tree or anything else the author might imagine. As a child, this was my favourite kind of story, alongside the everyday humorous category of middle grade fiction written so well by Beverly Cleary.

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