Stories and storytelling is a powerful strategy for reaching young minds. Children learn through stories. Children communicate to us about their lives through their stories. Not any story will do. Jane Yolen, author and commentator talks about the importance of both touch and tough magic in stories. Touch magic emphasizes important ideas we want to convey to children in a light hearted form. Consider The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper, a great story about perserverance or The Teddy Bear by David McPail about love and compassion.
Tough magic are heroic stories that place characters within a struggle where the outcome is in doubt. Most fairy tales are examples of tough magic. Older children have Harry Potter, younger children have picture books like The Mightiest Heart by Lynn Cullen or The Changing Maze by Zilpha Keatly Snyder. Stories with tough magic can take your breath away as they portray such fundamental themes as courage and sacrifice.