Saturday, June 30, 2007
Quote du jour/William Steig
I heard this on National Public Radio this morning. It is from William Steig's acceptance speech when he won the Caldecott Award for Sylvester and The Magic Pebble in 1970. Have you read the book? If so, I'm sure you've never forgotten it. Wonderful, touching story that strikes a chord in both children and their parents.
I am well aware not only of the importance of children -- whom we naturally cherish and who we also embody our hopes for the future -- but also of the importance of what we provide for them in the way of art; and I realize that we are competing with a lot of other cultural influences, some of which beguile them in false directions.
Art, including juvenile literature, has the power to make any spot on earth the living center of the universe, and unlike science, which often gives us the illusion of understanding things we really do not understand, it helps us to know life in a way that still keeps before us the mystery of things. It enhances the sense of wonder. And wonder is respect for life. Art also stimulates the adventurousness and the playfulness that keep us moving in a lively way and that lead us to useful discovery.