John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Children’s Books

Children’s books matter.

I love–LOVE–trying to take perceived problem and turning it into an unforeseen solution. Creating a new situation that is “better” than the condition before the problem.

I was wondering what my first exposure to this concept was and think I remember–at least in part.

A favorite book of mine as a very young boy involved a family of bears. The playful young boy bear was picking blackberries (so the story goes) and got blackberry juice stain on his plain-colored shirt. The mother bear–tempted to get angry and scold her son—had a better idea. She took blackberry juice and dyed the entire shirt a pretty blue-purple color. The “new” shirt was not only not stained– but better than before.

I can’t remember the name of the book…but I sure remember the story. I can’t imagine that I was over 5 years old when I read and re-read it.

And to this day when I’m surprised by a disappointment, I almost always quickly ask myself, can we make blackberry dye –figuratively speaking–to solve the problem

So, yes, children’s stories matter. That one either gave me an idea for a life philosophy or reinforced it. Or both.

But it started with a kids book about imaginary bears solving an ordinary problem. Differently and creatively. And successfully.


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