A young child who is steeped in the tantalizing details and vastness of everyday life in concrete reality will become an older child who values and employs abstract ideas in her thinking, one who can envision and bring herself and those in her realm into being, belonging, and becoming much more than she finds in the everyday circumstances.

“Barnes and colleagues offer a compelling explanation: Children are still learning about the real world. What’s routine for us might be novel for them. In fact, we know that children(and adults) can learn from fictional stories, but children more readily apply what they’ve learned when the story is realistic as opposed to fantastical. Fiction and fantasy might be luxuries we can afford only after we’ve mastered the basics.”

“When children hear stories, they’re typically receiving information from experts – older children and adults who know more about the world than they do. If stories are essentially a for of testimony about the world, it makes sense to favor fidelity.”

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” . . . If stories are a form of input, imagination and pretense may be mechanisms for elaboration and assimilation.”

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