When I was a little girl, I read all the time.  I read stacks of books from the library…fairy tales, mythology, mysteries, the OZ books (yes, there is an entire series).   If you’re old enough to remember the little orange bound biographies for kids in the library, you’ll remember checking those out to read the stories of Davy Crockett, George Washington, Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, et al.  We had the My Book House set, and I read those over and over and over.  I lived in a magical world of make-believe.

Among my favorites were the Mary Poppins books.  The Disney movie was released when I was in high school and I absolutely adored it.  Last night, I took my 11 year old granddaughter, Caroline, to see the musical based on the book and the movie.  It was charming, but it made me think.  I related to the story from the books and then the movie.  My granddaughter had only seen the movie.  I’m going to get her the books because she needs to know those stories, but what a difference in our lives and our reading.

When I was doing all my reading as a child, we had movies and very little television at first.  Today’s kids have so many ways to get a story with 24/7 television, 3D movies, iPads and, yes, books, electronic and paper.  I’m not against the new ways, I love my iBooks, but there is something so innocent about children with books.  Actually, I guess that Harry Potter and the Hunger Games series aren’t any more frightening than the things I read, especially with the other things kids see on the news.  I’d like to think it would be nicer if we didn’t have to subject them to the real world at such early ages, but I’m not sure it did us much good to be so protected.

Life is life and we are all nostalgic for what we think was the innocence of our childhood.  Actually, there were bad things happening back then, too.  We try to shelter our children as much as we can from the harsher aspects of life, but there will always be ugliness and evil as long as there are people.  Reading is one way to escape and/or prepare yourself for dealing with the dragons and ogres in the real world.

But, oh my, wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a Mary Poppins to come bring order to our lives?  Spit, spot!