“The Glen of Way Back When” was born as a poem and remains so in this newly minted Book Eleven of Kelly Anne Manuel’s Childhood Classics. In this story the Child is invited on a journey to a magical enchanted forest known as a glen. The narrator’s excitement about the discovery of this special place rings through each step of the journey and will immediately engage the Child.
“The Glen of Way Back When” offers a standing invitation to the Child. It is a playful place where skipping, seeking, and traveling are encouraged. There is no worry or concern in this glen. It models an inner place of peace that is always available to the Child. The narrator states this plainly at the end of the book for the Child to absorb.
The simple words take on new meaning as the illustrations pair perfectly with their presentation. The illustrations lead the way to an adventure where discovering an imaginary glen is possible. Moonbeams, hearts, animals, and trees all gather to capture and keep the Child’s attention. The Child’s inner thoughts will be ignited with possibilities as all manner of images leap off the pages.
Children are naturally able to imagine events that are characteristic of a playful youth. In this story the author encourages the Child to actively engage in flexing their imagination muscles. It creates a safe place of inner peace and calm which is a mechanism for coping with emotions. It allows for memories to be included in conversations and the author hopes it leads to many of them.
It is in Early Childhood that futures are being constructed. “The Glen of Way Back When” is a tool in a Caregiver’s toolbox to assist with that healthy formation. The idea that accessing a beautiful glen for beneficial thoughts and feelings is a theme that the author embraces. The Child who reads this book will be introduced to a magical, enchanted glen that they can visit today, always, and way back when.