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Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Joy and Encouragement of Creativity

“For my fifth birthday, my father gave me a very fat book called The Book of a Thousand Poems. I loved it. I read the poems, recited them, learnt them, and then started making up some of my own.” – Julia Donaldson

English creative writer, playwright and performer – born Sept. 16, 1948 – is best known for her popular rhyming stories for children, although many “older” writer friends I know like to say:  “I like her poems and stories too.”   Originally a children's television songwriter, Donaldson has concentrated on books since the words of her 1993 song, "A Squash and a Squeeze,” were made into a children’s book.  Her 1990s creation of a character and book called The Gruffalo, catapulted her to worldwide fame. 
Of her nearly 200 published works, about one-third are widely available, while the other two-thirds are intended for schools as part of the Oxford University Press's “Reading Tree” series to encourage and support kids' creative writing.  She has won nearly 3 dozen major writing awards and also been awarded both the Order and Commander of the British Empire from the Queen for her services to British literature.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Donaldson’s, 

I Opened A Book

I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I've left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.

I'm wearing the cloak, I've slipped on the ring,
I've swallowed the magic potion.
I've fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.

I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.

I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

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