GEOFFERY ALAN MOORE BLOG

The Magic Lamp

A good story is a magic lamp: instead of releasing a genie, it releases young readers’ imaginations, delight and sense of wonder. It promises to enrich the way they see life and see themselves. With special emphasis on folk and fairy tales, this blog explores the mind-expanding, life-enriching benefits of stories.

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The Importance of Being Tamed

            One of my favorite children’s books is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and one of my favorite passages in it is the little prince’s conversation with a fox. I’ll share some of that passage and then make a brief comment. The little prince is...

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The Book of Happiness

  (I would like to share a story I recently told my grandchildren. I adapted this from an old tale.)           Once there was a king who was very troubled, not only because of problems in his own life but also because of all the sadness and troubles he heard...

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He Was Fun While He Lasted

            To write children’s books, I think you have to keep your inner child alive. In fact, one of my reasons for writing Hodgepodge and Izzy was, I’m sure, to nurture and strengthen my inner child.             And, of course, children can help us with that if we...

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Joy’s Favorite Tool

I’m a big believer in stories because I’m a big believer in the importance of joy in life—and joy’s favorite tool is the story. Whether in a friendship or family or other relationship, sharing stories helps to strengthen the bonds. I frequently say to my...

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Inside the Skin of an Unusual Little Girl

Do you have a hard time remembering what it was like to be a kid? I do. I think that’s why I’m so interested in books that give me insights into a child’s world. One book that does that for me extremely well is: Too Close To The Falls by Catherine Gildiner. Catherine...

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Educated for Serendipity

The Education Every Child Most Needs, Part 9 [Note: In this series, we’re contrasting the education that the culture gives us vs. the education a human being most needs in this world. This is adapted from an essay by Landon Saunders.] Last time we talked about the...

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Educated For Wonder

The Education Every Child Most Needs, Part 8 [Note: In this series, we’re contrasting the education that the culture gives us vs. the education a human being most needs in this world. This is adapted in part from an essay by Landon Saunders entitled, What Every Child...

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Educated To Be Compassionate in the World

 The Education Every Child Most Needs, Part 7 [Note: as part of my research for an upcoming children's book, we're contrasting the education that the culture gives us vs. the education a human most needs in this world. This is adapted in part from an essay by...

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Educated To Be Who You Were Meant To Be

The Education Every Child Most Needs, Part 6 [Note: As part of my research for a children’s book I’m working on, we’re contrasting the education that the culture gives us vs. the education a human most needs in this world. This is adapted in part from an essay by...

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Educated for Getting the Upper Hand on Fear

The Education Every Child Most Needs, Part 4 [Note: As part of my research for a children’s book I’m working on, we’re contrasting the education that the culture gives us vs. the education a human most needs in this world. This is adapted in part from an essay by...

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Educated For Surprise

The Education Every Child Most Needs, Part 2 In this series, we’re contrasting the education our culture gives us vs. the education a person (adult or child) most needs in life. Culture sort of teaches us to be predictable. No surprises. But the education we most need...

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The Education Every Child Most Needs, Part 1

Montesquieu said, “We get three educations, one from our parents, one from school, and one from the world. And the third education contradicts the first two.” If that’s even close to being true—and I believe it is—it raises an intriguing question: What is the...

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The Emperor’s Rhyme

NOTE: I’m on vacation for the next three weeks and won’t be sending out any posts again until late September. So just for fun, I’ll send you off with a little poem by A. A. Milne of Winnie The Pooh fame. It’s called The Emperor’s Rhyme. The King of Peru (Who was...

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The Bright Side of A Tale Dark and Grimm

I’d like to put in a plug for Adam Gidwitz’s middle grade novel, A Tale Dark & Grimm (along with his two sequels, In A Glass Grimmly, and The Grimm Conclusion). The first book is an entertaining retelling of the Hansel and Gretel story like you’ve never heard it...

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The Fun Begins Where The Sidewalk Ends

You probably know Shel Silverstein, but in case you haven’t read his classic, Where The Sidewalk Ends, let me give you a taste. This book is one of my grandchildren’s favorites, and it’s easy to see why. It’s full of unique, whimsical, playful verse accompanied by the...

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The Value of the Unexpected

Last week we looked at The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo—one of my favorite children’s book authors. Her first middle-grade novel, Because Of Winn-Dixie, is the charming story of ten-year-old India Opal Buloni who has just moved to Florida with her dad, whom...

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To Be Nobody-But-Yourself

Today, let’s take a peek at Kate DiCamillo’s charming book about the adventures of a mouse, The Tale of Despereaux. One of the reasons I love this book is the way it deals with the struggle to be one’s own unique self—a struggle every child experiences. Despereaux is...

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Every Child is a Mystery

We’ve been thinking about the role of “wonder” in the lives of children. Today, I want to share these lines from Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet.  And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said: Your children are not your...

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Captivated By Life, Not Screens

While I’m on the subject of the role of wonder in kids’ lives, we should talk about one of the threats to that sense of wonder today: screens—TV, cell phones and internet. Tish Harrison Warren recently had an article in the New York Times titled, “Parents can help...

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Self-Wow Moments

Children see the world through the eyes of wonder—it’s one of the things that makes them delightful. But I am especially interested in experiences that cause a child to see himself or herself with a sense of wonder—when he is amazed at something he does or when she...

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Preparing Our Children to Fly

I would like to say a little more about the importance of awe and wonder in the lives of children—starting with a poem from Rumi. Rumi (1207-1273) was a Sufi poet who lived in what is now Turkey. Some say he is the most widely read poet today. The poem I want to share...

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The Dog, The Leopard And The Monkey

I love stories. I think there’s a little bit of magic that happens when someone tells a story: you’re drawn into the world of the story and that brings a certain delight. So I want to make a BIG PLUG for telling stories—any kind of stories—at dinner time. Yes, I said...

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The Shared Literature Of Our Lives

Why do kids love stories so much? Is it just entertainment, a frill? I think there’s more to it than that. I think the love of stories is innate; it’s part of our human software. In fact, human life is a story, and reading good stories to kids helps them make sense of...

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Nurturing The Joy Of Living

As we’re deep into Spring, I want to share one of my favorite passages from The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, published in 1908. At the beginning of the story, Mole has been working hard all morning cleaning his little underground home. But Spring is moving...

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Want to Change The World? Start With A Child

Continuing my research into the world of children… Bettie B. Youngs, author of How To Develop Self-Esteem In Your Child, talks with a lot of kids and she’s collected their responses to the question, “What do you want from your parents?” Hint: they don’t say more toys...

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“Why are nightmares so scary?”

My four-year-old granddaughter Mirabel came into my office and announced, “I want to make a book!” (She had seen her older sister do this and wanted in on the action.) We folded some sheets of paper together, stapled them, and numbered the pages. Then I asked her,...

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The Kingdom of “How”

“Why do I have to do this?” “It’s so boring!” “I’ll never need to know this!” We’ve all heard the complaints from kids—and we’ve probably made them. Children’s therapist Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, believes it’s important to explain to kids the value of doing such “no...

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What Kids Say They Want From Their Parents

I think there are times when we would all like to be able to get inside the heads of the children we know, to better remember and understand what it’s like to be them. There are plenty of middle grade and young adult novels that help us with that, as well a number of...

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“I think you’re a Ferrari!”

As background research for my next middle-grade novel, I’m reading some books on issues related to adolescent development and self-esteem in kids. I thought I would share some of the tidbits I find. For example, in How To Develop Self-Esteem In Your Child: 6 Vital...

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Claudia Finds Herself…In A Museum!

I want to give a plug for E. L. Konigsburg’s charming, insightful children’s novel, From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It’s a gem. Claudia Kincaid is “one month under twelve” when she decides to run away from home. Here is how the story begins:...

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A Great Deal on the Great Dahl!

I just wanted to send out a quick note about the amazing boxed set of Roald Dahl books now available on Amazon—just in case any of you don’t know about this The set includes 16 of Dahl’s magical stories including his greatest hits: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,...

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A Miraculous Story

One of my favorite children’s book authors is Kate DiCamillo. You may know her from Because Of Winn-Dixieor The Tale of Desperaux, both delightful. But today I want to recommend her book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which begins: “Once, in a house on...

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Rethinking the “Real World”

I’d like to start the year by giving a plug for one of my very favorite young adult novels: Marcelo In The Real World, by Francisco X. Stork. If you want something to recommend to a young adult reader, or if you’re looking for a read that will inspire you for the New...

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Finding Your Wow In The Now

As a kind of holiday/new year greeting I would like to share an excerpt from my kids’ novel, The Tale of Hodgepodge. Hodgepodge was a baby hippo, abandoned at birth in the jungle, then found and adopted by Moxie the elephant. When he grew up and realized he was a...

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Where The Sidewalk Ends…The Fun Begins!

I’d like to give a plug for Shel Silverstein’s book, Where The Sidewalk Ends, in case you haven’t read it. It’s a delightfully witty and inventive collection of humorous poems and drawings by the celebrated author of The Giving Tree, A Light In The Attic, and many...

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The Hero’s Path to Joy in Fairy Tales

In his book, Myth As Fairy Tale, Jack Zipes discusses why classical fairy tales have endured. He says: “The classical fairy tale makes it appear that we are all part of a shared community with shared values and norms, that we are all striving for the same happiness.”...

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Feeling Like A Kid, Part 6: Aliveness!

  In the last chapter of his book, Feeling Like A Kid, Jerry Griswold points out that one big difference between adult literature and children’s literature is that in books for kids, everything is often alive—from the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland to...

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Feeling Like A Kid, Part 1

What does it actually feel like to be a kid? Jerry Griswold, director of the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, has written an insightful little book that helps us with that. It’s called Feeling Like A Kid. Griswold says there are five themes that...

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