Thursday, January 23, 2020

Just Your Usual Day in the Park: Where Did You Go Today? by Jenny Duke



A girl and her father head off for a day in the park.

It's a great park, with a playground with all the usual equipment--swings and a slide, a sand box and pond, a climbing bar with tunnels, a zipline, and even a zoo where you can watch the animals while they watch you.

But she's not really there...

She flies off the swings and above the treetops, climbs a metal mountain and slides down the other side, sails in a little sailing vessel to faraway places, where she crawls through a cold and dark passageway to a sandy desert, mounts a camel and...

Imagination is at the heart of child's play and at the root of human creativity, and that easy or not-so-easy jump down the rabbit hole or through the wardrobe door is a valuable aspect of personality that some of us can keep as long as we live.

Every time someone reads a fiction book, he or she enters an alternate universe completely created by someone else and lives in it, and every time a person puts musical sounds together in a new way or has a novel idea, they are entering into that state just on the other side of known reality, and Jenny Duke's story of her little park-goer, Where Did You Go Today? (Child's Play Library) (Child's Play, 2019), celebrates that all-too-human power to conceive of what is not but perhaps could be. Duke's artwork depicts possibilities that are both recognizable and yet not quite concrete, just right for this daydream of a day in the park.

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