The Brightening Glance: Imagination and Childhood

The Brightening Glance Imagination and Childhood In this original richly illuminating study of the aesthetic development of children in their primary learning years Ellen Handler Spitz returns us to the vibrant experience of childhood to explain h

  • Title: The Brightening Glance: Imagination and Childhood
  • Author: Ellen Handler Spitz
  • ISBN: 9780375420580
  • Page: 479
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this original, richly illuminating study of the aesthetic development of children in their primary learning years, Ellen Handler Spitz returns us to the vibrant experience of childhood to explain how the imagination emerges and develops She looks at how children feel, sense, and relate to what is around them, and she examines the unlimited imaginative dimensions of theIn this original, richly illuminating study of the aesthetic development of children in their primary learning years, Ellen Handler Spitz returns us to the vibrant experience of childhood to explain how the imagination emerges and develops She looks at how children feel, sense, and relate to what is around them, and she examines the unlimited imaginative dimensions of their everyday experiences.Spitz makes clear that in a young child s mind there are no distinctions between art and nature, between reality and make believe every encounter looking at a blade of grass, watching Bambi, decorating a bedroom is experienced in both a child s private world and a domain of shared adventure By exploring the sensory, perceptual, and imaginative lives of children, Spitz shows how this aesthetic growth intersects with emotional development and how, by carefully observing what holds their attention, we can not only promote children s growth but also learn from them, rediscovering our own world through their wide open eyes.This remarkable book will be required reading for parents, child care professionals, and educators for anyone interested in the seeds of the young imagination and the life of the young mind.

    One thought on “The Brightening Glance: Imagination and Childhood”

    1. This would be an especially useful book for parents of small children, or those who might become parents; it's not really intended for scholars, though there is a bibliography at the end. Through anecdotes about children and about adults remembering childhood, Spitz shows how children develop an aesthetic awareness of the world. She often asks readers to remember their own childhood--a bedroom, a favorite space, a first experience of music or visual art. The last chapter, "Imagination as a Key t [...]

    2. Ellen Handler Spitz's daughter is a good friend of my sister's, and they both came to our Thanksgiving dinner. Knowing that I read her Inside Picture Books several years ago, Ellen very kindly brought me a copy of this newer title and signed it for me. I was under the impression that this one was marketed more towards parents than the other. I guess it's for parents, but only those who have extraordinary patience with highly theoretical musings on practical topics like how to decorate a child's [...]

    3. Insightful observations! This book is about how children acquire aesthetics. It details parent/child interactions with cultural events (books, movies, theater--stage and home events, like birthday parties) and traces how children build connections to the culture around them. Author forcefully advocates value of culture in young child's life. Her powers of observation are keen and sensitive. "What is Too Scary" and her analysis of "Bambi" and its effect on young children struck me as relevant to [...]

    4. I really liked how this book was written- with vignettes about parent/child interactions. It inspires me to make sure that my son gets as much of an aesthetic education as he can. I learned a lot and will use a lot of the ideas. I skipped some of the parts about opera because I'm not a huge opera fan, but it's good for kids to experience everything and then decide for themselves. We can all open ourselves up to the wonder and imagination of childhood and make sure that our children are learning [...]

    5. I loved her ideas about giving children the opportunity to enjoy art and music; I wished that she had had a little more science to back up her ideas (some studies instead of anecdotes). However, the anecdotes were very interesting. When I have time (when will that be?) I hope to throw my kids some crazy parties like the ones Spitz describes.

    6. Some good bits, but kind of too long, with tedious narrations telling the entirety of a book (A Birthday for Frances, for example), a television program (Mister Rogers talking about the dead fish), etc. There were entirely too many anecdotes.

    7. This book gave me insight into the workings of childrens imaginative process. It also offers some very good advice on how to introduce children to the visual and performing arts.

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