Sunday Salon: Children’s Stories

The Sunday

Despite the fact that I’ve been reading enough mysteries lately to re-paper the rooms in several haunted mansions, it’s children’s stories that are on my mind this week.

Last week, I had the wonderful experience of attending Peter Yarrow’s (of Peter, Paul and Mary) performance/book signing at the Jewish Community Center in Dallas. Unlike a formal concert, this was a more intimate affair. He spoke and sang for about an hour, inviting various kids up on stage to help out, and showing off several of his books.

The newest, Day is Done is the latest in his collection of stories based on his songs. The first was, of course, Puff, the Magic Dragon. I now have signed copies of each, got to converse with Peter for the second time in my life (the first was in August, 2002, in California), and have a lovely photo with Peter to help me remember the event.

And did I mention the books?

But kiddie lit is also on my brain because of an old Leo Buscaglia book, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf. I was first introduced to it about 27 years ago when I was part of a team from the Modesto UU Fellowship that performed the book in a reader’s theatre format. I was twelve at the time.

Today, I was again part of such a performance, on the stage at my church (Oak Cliff UU). You see, our church has recently lost two of its elders, and everyone is still grieving, still raw. I mentioned the book when I was at lunch with our minister and our associate minister, and they said, “So you’ll stage it as a dramatic moment, yes?”

And so I did.

And today we read.

And there was not a single dry eye.

But we needed the release.


So, I may be reading mainly mysteries, but I’ve been reminded lately that even adults can take a moment to see things from a child’s perspective, and be the better for it.