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ERIC Number: EJ837070
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Out of an Old Toy Chest
Warner, Marina
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v43 n2 p3-18 Sum 2009
Before children learn to read, they act like readers when they play with materials and objects like readers. In play, children beam their projective imagination upon inert material things and animate them with fantasy, infusing objects with meaning. The question of "the real" haunts the psychology of play and through play, the theory of fantasy: is the state of animation that the power of thought can conjure sufficient to make reality present? This question at first invites a quick dismissal. But when it comes to art and literature and to the imagination's activity in making works in words and pictures (sometimes both together, as in children's books), the efficacy of make-believe becomes a question far harder to analyze, understand, and answer. Many writers for children have attempted to answer this question with a resounding "Yes!" and invented fictions that do bring toys to life in a parallel world where playing for real can indeed really work. In this essay, Warner cites examples from classic children's books that succeed in generating stories that bring inanimate characters to life and foster a child's imagination. (Contains 46 notes.)
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A