Saturday, February 2, 2013

Magic in Stories for Children: Part Three - Familiar Faces

Some characters are common to many magical stories – the evil witch or wizard, the aged wise counselor, the reluctant hero, the noble ruler, the evil advisor. Young readers certainly always need to be able to identify with the chief protagonist, but the story’s other major characters must also be believable, even if they are not strictly human. Characters with recognizable traits, quirks and mannerisms who seem to almost leap off the page are always going to be popular with readers and are rarely forgotten.

Magical creatures, eccentric personalities and other worldly realms are an integral part of fairy tales and to some degree the success of the Shrek movie franchise, with children and perhaps even more so with adults, owes a lot to the presence of so many familiar characters, albeit used in somewhat unconventional ways for comic impact. Children are both familiar and comfortable with stories incorporating magic and although some may have gone a little stale in today’s technology dominated world, the recent success of the Harry Potter phenomena, along with the movie adaptations of Lord of the Rings and other fantasy classics has shown that children still have a craving for traditional stories of adventure in which magic plays a major role. 

Learn more about The Alchemist's PortraitThe Sorcerer's LetterboxThe Clone Conspiracy,  The Emerald CurseThe Heretic's TombThe Doomsday MaskThe Time Camera and my many non-fiction books on my website.

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