Wouldn't we all love to have a magic blanket? Artist/Author Judy Mastrangelo, through her amazing use of imagery and words, has created just such a blanket. I truly admire this book on many levels - for the amazing, gentle artwork, for the connection between the child taking the journey, the mother that created the blanket that takes her on the journey, and for how the journey itself encourages the use of the child's imagination.
As writers, we can look at a work like this and easily see how our stories, our books, can be tools of empowerment, gateways into other worlds. Mastrangelo does this in several ways. The first way would be the story itself. The words and the images are powerful and act to take the reader into another world. In the case of this book, it takes the reader (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, family friend) and the child/children being read to into the wonderful world of imagination.
This book includes the story (a fantastic journey in and of itself), ideas on nighttime dreaming and daytime dreaming, how to write and perform your own play about the magic blanket, coloring pages, how to bake delicious tea cookies, and more. What a marketing bonanza!
As writers, I think we can use Mastrangelo's work as a gateway, or even a guideline for how we can expand our writing into something very meaningful, into something more than a one-time read. While not a mystery, I place Mastrangelo's work on the same level as Joann Fluke's Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series (Fluke includes amazing recipes in her books), Laura Child's Tea Shoppe Mysteries (including tea lore and the history of Charleston SC), and Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mysteries (which include an incredible amount of information about sourcing and brewing coffee, as well as delicious recipes). All of these books act as gateways into other worlds through story.
If you are interested in more information on Mastrangelo's book "The Magic Blanket", click here.
(c) March 2022 Bonnie Cehovet
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