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Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 20, 2009
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About the Author
From The Washington Post
Copyright 2009, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
Chapter One: Reading Them to Sleep [Storytelling and the Invention of Bedtime Reading] explores the various facets of storytelling and bedtime reading. Chapter Two: Beauty, Horror, and Ignition Power [Can Books Change Us?} looks at narrative techniques, especially on reader's fascination with the macabre and horrific. Chapter Three: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep [Brushes with Death] explores the theme of death in children's books. Chapter Four: The Magic Art of the Great Humbug [How to do Things with Words] explores how words and thoughts as expressed in various children's literary works, have the power to affect children. Chapter Five: Theaters for the Imagination [What words can do to you] also explores the power of literature on children.
My major criticism of this book is in the lack of comprehensive representation of major children's authors [which I admit is difficult under the constraints of space etc] or authors whose works have had significant impact on children [e.g. Enid Blyton whose works had a huge impact on me as a child, Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit tales etc.]
I loved the Appendix which had a compilation taken from the works of noted authors on how books have a transformative power [e.g. Frances Hodgson Burnett, Graham Greene, Eudora Welty, Gustave Flaubert, and many more]. There is an extensive Notes section as well as Bibliography, and an Index.Read more ›
Children find themselves pulled between conflicting forces, the eat-your-spinach wholesome reading grown-ups demand, and the deep, sensory experiences of stories they actually seek. As Tatar notes, children read with great aplomb, disappearing into books because they love the experience. And "experience" certainly describes it: kids embrace books that create rich sensory detail and muscular action. Children have opportunities to enjoy reading as grown-ups, with jobs and mortgages and responsibilities, cannot.
Presumably, the reading experience, which elides unnecessary content, feels more real and intense than ordinary life, with its long, inactive stretches of workaday banality. Children, who lack lived experiences, become seasoned through their stories. Because reading lets us experience a range of pleasures--different identities, different time periods, different nations--we absorb it deeply, particularly when we don't have conflicting ideas or pressures attempting to limit and control our thoughts.
Knowing this, Tatar's overview of pre-Twentieth Century "children's literature" is downright chilling. In Tatar's telling, adult scholars once sought to stifle children's curiosity, numb their desire for experience, and reduce kids to mere moral instruments.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book because I had heard the author Maria Tatar interviewed by Krista Tippett at "OnBeing" public radio. What a marvelous book! Read morePublished 13 months ago by Darla
I found this book very enjoyable, easily readable and quite educational. I'm a children's recording artist, not a student of children's literature, but I found this book most... Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by Brent Holmes
Maria Tatar has written an interesting book for those of us who believe in the importance of stories and are fascinated by folklore. Unfortunately, she doesn't write very well. Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by FlyingFish
Tatar offers some great insights into the value of early childhood reading, that, I believe, are equally applicable to reading at any age. Read morePublished on March 22, 2013 by ABShaef
The subtitle, "the power of stories in childhood", informs the reader not only about the subject of this fascinating book, it also suggests the significance the author attributes... Read morePublished on February 11, 2013 by Robert J. Mccarty at Barking Planet