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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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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