Tag: flight

  • Symbolism of Birds

    VERNEUIL, Maurice Pillard (1869-1942). L'Animal dans la décoration. Paris- Librairie centrale des Beaux-arts, [1897] Birds Snails

    Birds are much older than we are — living dinosaurs. Across cultures, birds function as smart collaborators with humans. We now know how smart (some) birds really are, but we have long had a sense of their canniness. The smartest bird in the world is currently thought to be the New Zealand Kea, which isn’t so great if you live in New Zealand and the kea is chewing the bits of rubber off your car.

  • Depicting Motion In Illustration

    How do illustrators convey motion when creating static images?

  • Animals Riding Other Animals In Illustration

    Early-twentieth century illustrations by Artuš Scheiner (1863 – 1938) riding horse underwater

    When I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes I was disturbed for an unlikely reason. It wasn’t the dystopian aspect of a world where humans were no longer top of the food chain. The resonant image for me was when the apes were riding horses. I immediately checked myself. Why am I slightly […]

  • Symbolism of Arrows


    The arrow is both a weapon and also a sacred symbol. Divination with arrows over the years affects how we think of them and use them today. The weapon of Apollo and Diana, signifying the light of supreme power. In both Greece and pre-Columbian America, it was used to designate the sun’s rays. But, because […]

  • In-flight Entertainment by Helen Simpson Analysis

    In-flight entertainment

    “In-flight Entertainment” is a short story by Helen Simpson, published in her 2010 collection of the same name. Thanks in large part to Greta Thunberg (not pronounced how I thought it was pronounced), 2019 seems to have been a turning point in general attitudes towards climate change. The phrase started off as ‘global warming’ (too […]

  • My Neighbour Totoro Storytelling

    My Neighbour Totoro (1988), from Japan’s Studio Ghibli, is one of the few genuinely child centred films in existence. In contrast, most films out of DreamWorks and Pixar contain dual levels of meaning, including jokes only the adult co-viewer will understand, or emotional layers inaccessible to children. For instance, in Toy Story 3 Andy says […]

  • Up and Up by Shirley Hughes Analysis

    up and up cover_shirley hughes

    This month I wrote a post on Teaching Kids How To Structure A Story. Today I continue with a selection of mentor texts to help kids see how it works. Let’s look closely at another wordless picture book, this time by Shirley Hughes: Up and Up, from 1979. STORY STRUCTURE OF UP AND UP Up and Up […]

  • The Symbolism Of Flight In Children’s Literature

    Anton Von Beust The Flying Machine 1895

    Flight is amazingly common in children’s stories. Several other motifs should be considered symbolically similar: floating — e.g. by holding onto helium balloons, levitating by magic or by supernatural means going up onto a high place, such as a roof or a tree(house) — Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s tree house series are mega bestsellers […]