Monday, April 25, 2022
Mark West's newest essay collection (co-edited with Kathy Merlock Jackson), Storybook Worlds Made Real, considers how "[m]emorable children’s narratives immerse readers in imaginary worlds that bring them into the story. Some of these places have been constructed in the real world—like Pinocchio’s Tuscany or Anne of Green Gables’ Prince Edward Island—where visitors relive their favorite childhood tales. Theme parks like Walt Disney World and Harry Potter World use technology to engineer enchanting environments that reconnect visitors with beloved fictional settings and characters in new ways. This collection of new essays explores the imagined places we loved as kids, with a focus on the meaning of setting and its power to shape the way we view the world."
The collection includes chapters by Mark West (on Tivoli Gardens and Hans Christian Andersen) and English alum and adjunct instructor, Dina Massachi (on Frank L. Baum's Wizard of Oz) and many others that show how places, both imagined and real, shape literature for children.