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Kyo Maclear: Bend words, bend the world

In honour of the December 25 broadcast of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" with WireTap's Jonathan Goldstein, we're devoting ourselves to Canadian children's authors and other Seussian surprises here at Canada Writes.

In her writing tip, the author of Spork and Virginia Wolf attests to the power of nonsense in children's writing.

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"Bend words. Stretch them, squash them, mash them up, fold them. Turn them over or swing them upside down. Make up new words. Leave a place for the strange and downright impossible ones. Use ancient words. Hold on to the gangly, silly, slippy, truthful, dangerous, out-of-fashion  
ones.

As many of the great children writers have taught me (Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak, George Saunders, Sheree Fitch, Dennis Lee), nonsense is our salvation, our blissery, and our biggering.

Bend words and bend the world."


***
Kyo Maclear is a novelist and the author of three children’s books: Spork, Virginia Wolf and the forthcoming Mr. Flux (all published by Kids Can Press).

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