Many people have lost themselves in the magical children’s stories of Graeme Base, the British Australian author of books including Animalia and The Eleventh Hour.
This tale is told by centring the main event around Horace the elephant’s birthday party in which the food has mysteriously disappeared just as the guests are about to eat.
What follows and encourages the reader to stay hooked is to solve the mystery through clues interwoven on the pages.
It seems we can do our best to prepare for life but then there are the unforeseen challenges that appear when we least expect them, often at the 11th hour – just before something is about to begin.
As time is considered an illusion, it can feel as though it is elastic – when under pressure there isn’t enough – but when relaxed every passing minute may seem to be weighted down dragged by an invisible force.
One of the joys of experiencing the fluidity of the concept of time is that it is challenged when spending it with young children.
Not yet conditioned to the clock, their relationship to it is very different to ours as adults. It is easy to see the world brightly again as they tend to be driven by hunger or thirst or a shift in energy that informs them that time is passing as measured by their body’s cues.
The joy of sharing books like this is the way that it inspires time to be played with and it is being shared through collaboration and exploration. It feels as though there might be no concept of time as the readers would be fully immersed in the fantasy.
No barriers exist as inner child spirits arise, and the emphasis is on play regardless of age.
If we could learn to be friends with our time and embed some of the playfulness that children have towards it, there is an opportunity to make it less of an enemy to have to battle against.
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