Playing Around With a Story Line in Different Literary Genres and Different Literary Modes
Writing Leap #19 Travel Writing for Children
Hi writers, hope-t0-be-writers, just-want-to-fool-around-with writing writers and all you readers who haunt bookstores.
I just got back from Paris where every park bench, café table and patisserie inspires me to sit down and write. I saw a young child talking to the stone lions at the fountain at St. Sulpice and thought of a story. Writing travel stories for children can be a wonderful way to see a place through a child’s eyes. For me that’s magical.
New Story Line
Vive la différence, I say! It allows me to put my American self in relief and treasure it and at the same time immerse myself in something different. I really can’t explain why being in Paris makes me feel so wonderful. I feel something different in the air. Different energy, different streets, different patisseries! So travelers, pick a place you have been, a different neighborhood, a different part of our country and imagine it through the eyes of a child. I find a child’s point of view loosens up my observations. Try it writers! Better yet try reading it to a child. See if their eyes light up.
Here’s mine. I imagine it as a picture book.
A Visit to the Dentist in Paris
Emily stamped her foot on the cobblestones and ran over to the Lion Fountain in the middle of the courtyard at St. Sulpice. She climbed up and hugged her favorite lion and refused to let go.
“No, I won’t go. I won’t. I won’t. My tooth doesn’t hurt anymore. I was just pretending.”
“Come Emily.” Her mother tried to pry her away from the lion. “I promise Dr. Delaunay won’t hurt you. And guess what? There are lots and lots of magic paintings there. It’s not like a dentist’s office at all.”
Emily started crying big gulpy tears. “Oh, please Mommy. I beg you. Don’t make me go to the dentist.”
The lion, who was Emily’s best friend in Paris, whispered, “Go Emily. You are brave. And look for a big surprise inside one of the paintings. It’s for you.”
“Are you sure?”
“Totally sure. A surprise just for you.”
Emily wiped her tears and took her mother’s hand.
“Bonjour Emily,” said Dr. Delaunay. He shook her hand and smiled at her.
She stepped into a very large room with high windows. There were paintings hanging everywhere she could see. Splashes of shiny red, scribbly black lines and funny shapes reached out to her to say hello. She touched a hanging wiggly sculpture with dots. Slippery!
Oh, oh, the blue dentist chair. Emily hoped at first it wasn’t real, maybe even make-believe. But it was friendly, not like the dark, scary dentist chair in Dr. Brown’s office back in New York.
“So Emily,” said Dr. Delaunay as he clipped a white towel around her neck. “Are you ready for your surprise? Look, there, in front of you.”
A large painting with lines that looked like a man in a funny hat loomed in front of her. The man waved. “I am your new French friend.” Emily’s eyes opened very wide and she didn’t even feel the prick of the novacaine needle or the drill fixing her sore tooth.
“Come and visit your new French friend any time you want,” said Dr. Delaunay as they were leaving.
On the way home Emily and her mother stopped at their neighborhood patisserie, a tiny pastry shop fragrant with raspberry tarts and chocolate mousse cakes and lemon treats. “They look like a flower garden Mommy. But for later. My mouth is all prickly.”
Emily showed her lion on the Fountain at St. Sulpice her pain au chocolat, a flakey bun with chocolate chunks. “There was a man with a funny hat at Dr. Delaunay’s magic office. I was brave. I might visit him again.”
Happy writing Everyone,
PS I took literary liberties with the lions–to serve the story of course! They are actually too high off the ground to reach.
LINKING THE ARTS
La Fontaine St. Sulpice
My favorite travel book for children