Monday, March 3, 2014

Heart Connections in Children's Books

When I was little, my mother read The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton to me. By the time she got to the end, I was so happy TLH had made it back to the country. Fast forward to adulthood. When I read TLH now, tears roll down my face half way through. 

Why? Why after many years and life changes does this children's book still affect me? I believe it's the heart connections made in childhood. In TLH, the house was built on a pretty hill surrounded by daisies out in the country. Eventually the city expands until TLH is surrounded by high rise buildings that block out the sun. TLH longs for the sunny hillside. 

I grew up in the country and eventually moved to Houston, TX amid high rise buildings that blocked out the sun. I seriously missed the open countryside and seeing the stars at night. My childhood connections to The Little House can't be unmade. I can't unsee the illustrations. 

Now as I write this, I'm living in Arkansas and looking out the window at bright snow and woods. Like TLH, I'm back in the country.

Today I read The Boy who was Raised by Librarians by Carla Morris. By the end, I was more than misty. Why? Another heart connection. My mother was a career librarian. I have been in a library nearly every day of my life. I connected in a very personal way to this story.

So here's what I'm thinking. As a children's author, I need to pay more attention to the story ideas that come from a heart connection in my life. I believe those are the ones where my best writing will emerge. Those stories will have connecting power. What do you think? -Q


  1. Those books touch my heart as well. I have a shelf full of books that I cannot finish without getting misty. I bet you do too. :)

  2. I must admit, I've never read either of those books. But, they sound like good ones. I think we should always write something from our heart that touches us - then we will be happy with it and hopefully others will, too.