Classic Stories: ROXABOXEN

“This world is but a canvas to our imaginations.” ─ Henry David Thoreau

Imagination abounds in Roxaboxen, a picture book written by Alice McLerran and illustrated by Barbara Cooney. It’s a perfect example of how children, with time for free play, can come together to create a magical world of their own.

From the opening pages, McLerran and Cooney take us back in time to an imaginary place conceived by a group of children. Simple objects take on a new purpose in the imaginary town of Roxaboxen. Pebbles become money. White rocks define streets and houses. Boxes become shelves and tables. A round object becomes the steering wheel for a car, and a long stick becomes a horse. There is a mayor, a policeman, a baker, and an ice cream maker. Everyone plays an integral part in the fantasy world they have created.

I admit one of the many reasons I like this book is because it reminds me of when I was growing up. Special moments spent when we are young are moments we may remember, but never recapture once we’ve grown. That’s why this book tugs on my heartstrings.

Roxaboxen is a great book to share with children to encourage them to use their imaginations and experience a sense of euphoria as they celebrate magical moments.

Some free play humor:

A preschooler, playing with a family of paper dolls, stuck a dress on the mom. He looked at it and said:  “Darling, I think another dress would look better on you.”

(For future reference, I suggest this preschooler not use those exact words when he becomes a husband.)

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