January 31, 2006

Lisa: A Dukedom Large Enough

It is hard for me to talk about the serious stuff unless I surround it with a sort of superficial duck blind. Nothing to see here!


There is a girl in her early 20s at the library dressed completely in pink. Baby pink shearling coat over a hot pink cowl neck sweater; baby pink belt; baby pink jeans tucked into hot pink knee-high ruched stilletto boots. I think she is channeling Madonna? Otherwise I have no explanation for that kind of behavior.


Instead of going to work last Saturday, I got to attend a children's literature conference at BYU. Authors Katherine Paterson and Kimberly Heuston and illustrator Eric Rohmann gave really excellent presentations. Admittedly I was a bit emotional that day (Possibly overtired? Sorry if your teacher thinks I'm a freak now, Jeff.), but several of the things they said rang true for me. I even took notes! Here's what I wrote down:

Eric Rohman:

  • "Kids aren't stupid, they're just short." --Mo Willems
  • Kimberly Heuston:

  • Ambition, passion, talent, and the ability to work hard are four independent realities that seldom coincide.
  • Katherine Paterson:

  • when asked what he had learned in Sunday School that day, one child responded "I learned to love Jesus...and sit down, sit down, SIT DOWN!"

  • When a new theory is presented, physicists ask: "Is it beautiful?" Beauty is truth. The components of beauty are simplicity (completeness and economy), harmony (the perfect conformity of parts to the whole), and brilliance (does it have clarity within itself AND shed light on other theories).

  • It is our job simply to put the best books in the hands of children; we can't make someone love a book. If a story speaks to someone it is because of the influence of the Holy Ghost.

  • The bible is not a story of immortal life. It is a story of Earth. It is a story of humanity on earth, which is even more brief. This is the foundation of all great stories.

  • "Truth unadorned, unsentimentalized, is beauty." --Elizabeth Borton de Trevino, I, Juan de Pareja

  • Art is supposed to help us experience the spectrum of human emotion and somehow make us richer and more compassionate, wiser human beings--but the reader gets to choose what to take away from the experience.

  • The terebinth tree mentioned in the bible is a likely etymologic progenitor of the island of Terebinthia in C.S. Lewis's Narnia, which was unconsciously transmuted to Terabithia for Paterson's Newbery-winning novel.


    Two Saturdays ago I was assigned to help out at the KUED Super Reader Party. The library's booth had a Texas theme, and I spent most of my time there folding these "cowboy" hats. I'm thinking of using the extras in a "pimp" storytime.

    P.S. Extra credit to anyone who gets my incredibly obscure title reference.

    Posted by lisa at January 31, 2006 07:44 PM
  • Comments

    Lis: I think this is your best post yet.

    Posted by: Dave on February 2, 2006 01:30 AM
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