I adored Erica Perl’s YA debut, VINTAGE VERONICA, so when I was excited to discover she had an upcoming childrens’ release: DOTTY. Erica is a phenomenal writer whose writing tackles important topics and I’m thrilled to have her back at The Hiding Spot! Even if DOTTY doesn’t appeal to you, I urge you to read Erica’s post – she imparts an important message that, I think, applies to everyone, no matter what your age!
I hold onto a lot from my childhood – books, photos, toys, and especially books – but something happened over the weekend that made me realize that the thing I hold onto most is my ability to play. I think adults should play a lot more, and should bring a sense of playfulness into their everyday lives. I feel very lucky to get to hang out with my kids, who keep me playing and who force me to play even when I am tired and acting too much like a grown up. What happened this weekend was: we were taking a hike, and the kids started to complain that it was taking too long, so I picked up a stick and announced that it would be the story stick and we would make up a story. Immediately, the longness and uphillness and are-we-there-yet-ness was forgotten. I kicked it off with “Once upon a time there was a toad who wanted to be a frog…” and then I handed off the stick and my younger daughter started spinning the most excellent yarn. Before we were through, there was a unicorn (of course), a blue Yeti, two giants, an enchantress and a very bad cat. We also created elaborate rules as we went, which was fun, too. The point is, so often I am tempted to say to my kids “go play!” but the fact is, I need play as much as they do. Which is one of the things I was trying to say with Dotty: adults should hold onto their essential childishness as long as possible AND not keep it a secret. One of the greatest gifts you can give to a child is to show that, inside, you’re a kid, too. Not all the time, of course, because kids get comfort from reliability and rules and firmness and all that adult stuff. But every so often, just like Ms. Raymond, you have to take them aside and show them that you still have a string. And if that last line makes no sense, please read my new book, Dotty. Because then it will.
All the best,
Your friend Erica
and her friend, Dotty
Be sure to check out all the blogs Erica has visited on the Connect with Dotty tour!
8/30 The Happy Nappy Bookseller
9/1 Alison’s Book Marks
9/2 A Patchwork of Books
9/3 Jean Little Library
9/4 Pragmatic Mom
9/7 Links to Literacy
9/8 The Book Bag Blog
9/9 The Hiding Spot
9/10 Bookmark, The First Book Blog