Travis Prinzi, a fellow contributor to the Rabbit Room, just posted this quote from Maurice Sendak (one of my favorite illustrators, most famous for Where the Wild Things Are). It rings true with me, and it echoes some of what I said in the Note to Parents:
“Most frightening to children is to dream their own figures of fear and find no analogue in anything they hear about or read. Children need to see their feelings, particularly the darkest ones, reflected in their stories. Mitigating the darkness of the fairy tale takes away their power to reassure children that they are not alone in their fearful imaginings, that they are shared and can be addressed.” –Maurice Sendak
And I believe that’s one of the reasons God gave us art–to remind us we aren’t alone.
*Illustration courtesy of Cory Godbey. Check out his new website of artists paying tribute to Sendak’s work.