Art of the Fairy Tale

Confronting the notion that the fairy tale genre encouraged unhealthy amounts of escapism in children, C.S. Lewis wrote in a prominent essay that a child "does not despise real woods because he has read of enchanted woods: the reading makes all woods a little more enchanted".

Those of us who've come to love the fantasy genre have faced the same questions regarding its usefulness in our lives. Surely the temptation exists for each reader to mistake the inner, imaginative realm as more beautiful than the real. But an essential task of any reader of fantasy- or of any genre for that matter- is to find their way back home at the end of the story. And, in the case of the fairy tale, to perhaps return, if the reader is lucky, with a new-found sense of inspiration, wonder and even a bit of heroism.

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The Adventure Begins

Wow. The Story Lab celebrated its one-year anniversary this winter. The occasion had me beaming and also feeling a bit reflective. We’re one year in, which means our journey as an organization is taking shape. After a year, we know more fully what the community needs, and what exactly we can offer to have the most meaningful impact. I thought I’d share with you what is, from my perspective, the spirit and the heart of our program.

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Virginia ArcherComment
Walk on Through

A few years ago, acclaimed illustrator Aaron Becker left his career working in Hollywood art departments for a true adventure. He struck out on his own by moving to the East Coast, starting a family, and helping a new generation of young readers to embrace their inherent creativity and believe in themselves.

Every young person can be creative and find their voice, Becker believes. And in his hit book Journey, a lonely girl discovers a magic door in her room that leads to a world of wonder and even danger. Once through it with her powerful red marker, the epic landscapes of myth and fantasy and the raw, very real emotions of childhood, come together and to roaring life for her in this spirited and wordless volume.

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Virginia ArcherComment