When I read to my children, I try to slow down my speech, and even my bearing.
I take nice, deep breaths, I pause, I look at them.
These mindful, slowed-down moments are a rare treat.
This is an age of fast. Research shows we speak much faster than previous generations, and even walk much faster.
So do our children.
We are also increasingly losing our ability to experience things deeply and be in a state that psychologists call “flow”, which is when we are fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, with complete involvement and enjoyment in the process.
Poetry is one of those things that does not translate into the world of “fast”. You can’t skim through poetry, or "get the gist of it". Verses demand those extra few seconds to linger, to connect, to be felt.
Children may not understand all the poems in The Stardust Elves, but I believe they feel it instantly when their parent slows down… and connects with something soulfully.
In that sense, poetry — especially when combined with majestic illustrations —teaches reverence for something larger than oneself. It imparts some of the same awe we feel when stepping into a place that holds spiritual meaning.
Reading meaningful passages to our children is an invitation to glimpse into a world that, when given the chance, they remember has always been within them.
A space of love, connection and belonging.