I have been thinking about the recent announcement of Kate DiCamillo as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and her overall message of “Stories Connect Us”. How often are we reminded of a story in a book by something in our daily life? How many times to we share that connection, that story, out loud?
Taking inspiration from Kate, I want to share a moment, a connection, fostered by a story a few days ago.
Strolling through the city with my boy H, a truck rumbled past us. H, eyes wide, exclaimed in his loudish voice: “Mommy! Look! It’s the Little Blue Truck!” He then proceeded to sing-song what he remembered of the story as we continued down the sidewalk: “Little blue truck went down the road / ‘Beep’ said blue to the big green toad”. He looked at me with a beaming smile, and I knew he was proud of himself for remembering the story, remembering the words, and putting them into context.
And I am proud of him. Because stories DO connect us. They help us make sense of our world when nothing else can. They reassure us, they give meaning, they inform and entertain. Without stories and the unique connections we make, the world could rush by in a chaotic blur without any notice. On that day, though, the story allowed us to slow down, to take notice, to talk, to connect.
And if that isn’t important, I don’t know what is.