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Issue 02 – Assumption 2020

The Publisher's Desk

The Publisher's Desk

On the fascination of children.


“New needs always create new forms,” Metternich says, and so the arrival of a new baby in our household has demanded from us a new kind of knowledge: chiefly that of baby toys. Newborns do not have many extracurricular interests at first, but as they begin to recognize the world and their place in it, their interest in it correspondingly grows. And so we give them toys. Toys fascinate, amuse, entertain, intrigue, surprise, and teach both children and their parents. Most of a young child’s waking time is play time, and at this age we get to know our daughter by playing.

Of all her toys, her favorites are her books. She loves Goodnight Moon, Madeline, Goodnight Gorilla, Guess How Much I Love You?, and (best of all) Dr. Seuss’s ABC. The rhythm of the spoken words comforts her and alerts her to the importance of the object in front of her; she knows that she is being spoken to, and that the book is being spoken about (see Sister Carino Hodder’s beautiful meditation on the subject, page 56). She carefully inspects the pictures, and one can see her satisfying herself that the fiffer-feffer-feff’s fluffy feathers do indeed number four ere the page is turned.

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