Friday, June 27, 2014

Fan Letter and the Logic of Children

There are few aspects of my job that I enjoy more than getting letters from children, especially ones that capture that strange and wonderful way in which they see the world. The one pictured above is from a first grader and manages to do just that, not only in the drawing, but also in the body of the letter. The drawing shows her seated at a school desk while her imagination is lost in visions of pirates, who oddly enough remind me of Howard the Duck. As great as that picture is, my favorite part is what is written on the bottom right corner.

As if the two arrows weren't enough, she wrote "go this way" above them. And just in case it wasn't clear what "go this way" meant, she added a third arrow letting me know the phrase pertained to the first two arrows. There was an obvious sense of anxiety that I wouldn't turn the page over, clearly shown in the care taken in writing "go this way" which is the neatest printing on the page. This is what I mean about children having a different perspective on the world. Any adult knows that an arrow on the bottom of a page means to turn it over, but to a child, this is a new concept, and perhaps a concept that isn't widely known by the reader, and there is a worry that I would never see the very important information on the back:

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