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12 Feb

Anthropomorphism is a centuries old tradition of storytelling by giving animals human speech and feelings. Walt Disney was a master of this technique as seen in his productions of The Lion King, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, and 101 Dalmatians to name a few. Walt was able to tell stories about animals in human terms and with strong moral themes. Author Margaret Blount writes in her book Animal Land: The Creatures of Children’s Fiction, “Talking animals seem to be as old as man; and folklore tales read like Man’s remotest dreams”. Plus, “when we tell stories about animals acting like humans, we are better able to see ourselves in the Circle of Life” (http://www.disney.co.uk/musicaltheater/thelionking).

Now I don’t profess to be like Walt Disney nor write like author Margaret Blount, but I do enjoy giving voice to the animals in my children’s nature books. In the first one, two of the most unusually attractive and vividly colored birds teach an avid gardener about  gardening practices she has been doing that have actually been harmful to the environment.  My second book, still in draft form, includes lessons from the same characters about harmful effects of plastic litter on both land and sea.  It is my opinion that we all have lessons to learn about our habits and their immediate and long term effects on this planet.  To me, putting words into the minds of readers, stated factually by the imaginary characters in the story, is the best way to imagine ourselves as a vital link within the Circle of Life. 
By the way, if you enjoy gardening and have not read my first book nor have enjoyed sharing it yet with a child, I invite you to do so by clicking on the Buy the Book tab on my web page, grammagoldenbooks.com.  There is still time to order one for the child in your life (or the child in you for that matter!) just in time for spring gardening.

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