Life would be dull without imagination | Entertainment

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Albert Einstein wrote, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

That’s powerfully true. When you think about it, we couldn’t accomplish much without our imagination and life would be dull and monotonous.

Books can assist children in stretching their imagination. Works of fiction can take our imagination to new, fantastical heights. Factual books can also expand the imagination.

To put it another way, consider Carl Sagan’s words when he wrote, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”

Onward with imagination!

Books to borrow

The following book is available at many public libraries.

“Imaginary FRED” by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, Harper, 46 pages

Read aloud: age 5 – 8.

Read yourself: age 7 – 8.

“Being alone is no fun. The first five minutes are okay, but it’s downhill from there. And if you’re alone, you’re alone. It’s not as if you can wish a friend to life.” Then again, if the conditions are just right, “… an imaginary friend might appear just when you need one.”

And so it happened for the lonely boy, Sam. Imaginary Fred became Sam’s friend, and their friendship was perfection. But Fred had a lot of experience being an imaginary friend and knew that as soon as Sam found a real friend in the real world, Fred would start to fade away, or would he?

A brilliant book in every regard, this funny story with its pitch-perfect illustrations is a delightful testimony to the power of friendship and imagination.

Librarian’s choice

Library: Womelsdorf Community Library, 203 W. High St., Womelsdorf

Library drector: Nina Meister

Children’s program coordinator: Jennifer Harris

Choices this week: “Strega Nona’s Magic Lesson” by Tomie dePaola; “Magic Tree House” series by Mary Pope Osborne; “Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin

Books to buy

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

“The Great and the Terrible: The World’s Most Glorious and Notorious Rulers and How They Got Their Names” by Joanne O’Sullivan, illustrated by Udayana Lugo, Running Press, 2020, 168 pages, $17.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 8 – 12.

Read yourself: age 9 – 12.

Journey back through time to discover some of the world’s greatest rulers and some of the most terrible in this fascinating history book that’s certain to keep kids ripping through every page.

A thoughtful and sometimes humorous look at rulers from various points in time and cultures around the globe, readers come to understand that the great leaders had many qualities in common, most notably that they respected others, thought about the long-term consequences of their actions and were willing to listen to the people they served.

Readers will also recognize that the terrible leaders had common traits as well, mainly that they did not respect anyone, typically put themselves first and would stop at nothing to get what they wanted.

Some of the great and terrible rulers will be more familiar than others, but each has a story that will cause reflection on what it means to be a ruler and what life would be under their rule.

Some of the great rulers include Alexander the Great, Good Queen Bess (Elizabeth I), Good King Wenceslas and Hatshepsut, and some of the terrible rulers include Vlad the Impaler, Catherine de’ Medici, Bad King John and Bloody Mary Tudor.

History comes alive in “The Great and the Terrible”; it’s a tour de force not to be missed.

“Lost in the Imagination: A Journey Through Nine Worlds in Nine Nights” by Hiawyn Oram, illustrated by David Wyatt, Candlewick Studio, 2020, 44 pages, $19.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 8 – 12.

Read yourself: age 9 – 12.

Professor Dawn D. Gable had received an unusual book, “Lost in the Imagination.” Thinking the book was ridiculous nonsense, she tossed it into the fire, but the book didn’t burn. Instead, a creature emerged from the book stating he was the ancient Norse dragon Hyllvar.

He told Professor Gable that he offered her one chance to break free from her desolate, unimaginative life and show her “… nine worlds in nine nights to fire your imagination.”

Professor Gable didn’t believe in magic; only hard-core facts and figures. Despite her misgivings, she reluctantly decided to follow this odd creature, and doing so would change her life irreversibly.

An enchanting, spellbinding journey through nine worlds from myth, legend and folklore, “Lost in the Imagination” is beautifully written, lavishly illustrated and speaks to the reader that our imagination can take us anywhere. Just ask Professor Gable.

Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached at kendal@sunlink.net and kendal.rautzhan27@gmail.com.

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