Norman Rockwell, “Lands of Enchantment”
For literacy to be a really desirable goal for a young child, it must be endowed by him with magic meaning. Only then will it become attractive to his unconscious, which will consequently support the child’s conscious efforts to master reading. Later, the irrational aspects of literacy can become safely reduced and the rational ones gain ascendancy. But if this divestment of magical connotations occurs too soon and too radically, reading will not be strongly invested emotionally.Bruno Bettelheim, Karen Zelan On Learning to Read
The work of mystical fancy does not call upon the emotions of the reader merely for the pleasure the child often finds in such reading, but because the author believes that the emotions are essential in helping the child intuitively grasp that kind of knowledge which is unattainable through the ordinary corridors of reason alone.Jim Higgins Beyond Words: Mystical Fancy in Children’s Literature
Stories appeal to the child’s normal need for identification, which is a need not for finding others just like himself (the mistake of so much contemporary children’s literature), but for finding others who are better than himself— who are as he might become if he could fulfill his potential for goodness.William Kirk Fitzpatrick Storytelling: Tutoring the Child in the Moral Life
This is not a book about teaching a child to read; it’s about teaching a child to want to read.Jim Trelease The Read-Aloud Handbook
For further discussion on the topic, “Why Children Read” see Eugene Schwartz, The Cry for Myth.