I watched The Lorax movie last week, and while it was entertaining, it also got my gears spinning on story morals. Some reviewers accused it of brainwashing our youth against capitalism, while it ironically turned a beloved piece of children’s literature into an action packed, celebrity crammed, 3D, money-making venture. So, was the Dr. too prescriptive in his story? Or was his message overshadowed by the entertainment value? If he was guilty of either, he succeeded in the most important part. The book reached me as a kid. I loved it.
I am often guilty of infiltrating my writing with morals, or at the very least, themes. Sometimes I am so attached to the message that I am unwilling to let the story create its own course. I miss out on humorous adventures and lovable characters when I stay so firmly beside my themes.
Children’s books are a wonderful place to help kids learn about the world and become the best people they can be. But kids can’t learn anything from stories that they set down or tune out. Infuse your stories with your ideals and passions, but let them go when they hold your story back. And remember that fostering the imagination and encouraging the love of reading are two of the best gifts a book can give.