Tag: utopia

  • Snow White and Rose Red Fairytale Analysis

    Snow White and Rose Red Fairytale Analysis

    There are many slightly-altered versions of “Snow White and Rose Red” but I’ll refer to a version set down by the Grimm Brothers. This is the story of a lesser known Snow White.

    Continue reading

  • The Symbolism of Trains In Literature

    The Symbolism of Trains In Literature

    Why are trains so useful to storytellers? In stories, trains play a functional role, getting your characters from one place to another. But there’s more to it than that. Perhaps we encounter storytellers on trains more than in any other place.

    Continue reading

  • What is a heterotopia?

    What is a heterotopia?

    I have previously written about utopias, snail under the leaf settings, idylls and dystopias. I thought I had -topias covered. Then I came across the word heterotopia. What’s that, now? Foucault uses the term “heterotopia” to describe spaces that have more layers of meaning or relationships to other places than immediately meet the eye. In general, a heterotopia is a…

    Continue reading

  • Strays Like Us by Richard Peck Storytelling Tips

    Strays Like Us is a 1998 middle grade novel by American author Richard Peck. (155 pages) Peck not only understands the fragile emotions of adolescents, he also knows what kind of characters will pique their interest. In this tender novel, he paints a richly detailed portrait of Molly, a drug-addict’s daughter sent at the age of 12 to live with…

    Continue reading

  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk Novel Study

    Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk Novel Study

    Wolf Hollow (2016) is a middle grade novel by Lauren Wolk. This mid-20th century story is chock-full of symbolism which makes it great for a novel study. Here I focus instead on the writing techniques, for writers of middle grade. Though moons tend to be massive in children’s books, the moon on this cover would have to be the most…

    Continue reading

  • The Snail Under The Leaf Setting

    The Snail Under The Leaf Setting

    In many folktales, visitors to fairyland see magnificent palaces and comely people until they accidentally rub the fairy ointment on their eyes. Then fairyland is revealed as a charnel-house, grey and grim, with the fairies as the grinning dead. Diane Purkiss, Troublesome Things The Utopian World is prevalent in contemporary children’s literature. Move into young adult literature, and the top…

    Continue reading

  • Storytelling Tips From Anne Of Green Gables

    Revisiting Anne Of Green Gables as an adult reader, several things stick out: Listen to Anne of Green Gables for free at Librivox THE INFLUENCE OF CINDERELLA In real life, the character of Anne Shirley would be a lifelong social workers’ project. Her parents died of ‘the fever’ when she was an infant and since then she’s been pushed around…

    Continue reading

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service Symbolism and Story Structure

    Kiki’s Delivery Service Symbolism and Story Structure

    Kiki’s Delivery Service is a Studio Ghibli film released in 1989. This film was always popular in Japan but — though it’s hard to remember now — Studio Ghibli films didn’t take off in the West until 1997 with the release of Princess Mononoke.

    Continue reading

  • The English Country Garden In Picture Books

    The Secret Garden This is perhaps the most famous, and certainly the most analysed, of the English country gardens in children’s literature. Below is an illustration by the wonderful Inga Moore, also well-known for her illustrations of The Wind In The Willows. Though Inga Moore is a modern illustrator, her style has a classical style which you might almost expect…

    Continue reading

  • Garth Pig And The Ice Cream Lady By Mary Rayner

    Garth Pig And The Ice Cream Lady By Mary Rayner

    Garth Pig and the Ice Cream Lady is a British picture book written and illustrated by Mary Rayner in 1977. The story is part fairytale, part 1977 modernity. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mary Rayner was born in 1933 in Mandalay, Burma of British parents. She was 8 years old when Japanese troops invaded Burma. Her mother and two siblings walked over…

    Continue reading

  • Storybook Farms

    Storybook Farms

    Farms in children’s literature are often a kind of utopia. Often these are animal utopias, and the reader is not supposed to even think of what the animals are really there for. Writing of the book Hepzibah Hen, a Children’s Hour favourite from 1926, is described by Margaret Blount as ‘the antithesis of Animal Farm‘, in which: there are a…

    Continue reading

  • Lost Pets In Children’s Stories

    A child who reads heavily may well be under the impression that the acquisition of pets requires about as much thought as a well-chosen piece of jewellery. Yesterday I rewatched Bridge To Terabithia — a perennial favourite at our house. I can’t remember if this also happens in the book version, but at the end of the movie Leslie’s father says he…

    Continue reading

  • City Kids, Country Kids in Children’s Literature

    City Kids, Country Kids in Children’s Literature

    Read enough children’s literature and you’ll be left in no doubt: The city is bad for children. Take them out to the country, which is utopian, pristine and a veritable fantasy landscape. There was once an old woman who left the city to get away from all the noise and confusion. Out in the country she found a small house…

    Continue reading

  • Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride by diCamillo and Van Dusen

    Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride by diCamillo and Van Dusen

    If you’re looking for a chapter book to bridge the gap between beautifully illustrated picturebooks and pictureless novels, the Mercy Watson series is a great option, because the illustrations are just as enticing as any found in a high-production picture book.

    Continue reading

  • Broadchurch Pilot Episode TV Writing

    Broadchurch Pilot Episode TV Writing

    Broadchurch is a TV murder mystery in which a village is a miniature for society. As one reviewer points out, “the death which happens at the beginning incites all sorts of unexpected human behaviour, with repercussions all around the town. Initially the show seems to be making the banal point that the residents of this bucolic town are not what…

    Continue reading