Katherine Rundell on children’s books and imagination

Children’s fiction… offers to help us to refind things we may not even know we have lost. Adult life is full of forgetting…

When you read children’s books, you are given the space to read again as a child: to find your way back, back to the time when new discoveries came daily and when the world was colossal, before your imagination was trimmed and neatened, as if it were an optional extra.

But imagination is not and never has been optional: it is at the heart of everything, the thing that allows us to experience the world from the perspective of others: the condition precedent of love itself.

Children’s books can teach us not just what we have forgotten, but what we have forgotten we have forgotten.

Plato … mistrusted poets and would have mistrusted children’s novelists even more… But defy Plato.

Katherine RundellWhy You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old And Wise [Waterstones]

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