Everyday Magic

According to the Jacket Blurb . . .

Everyday Magic

Everyday Magic: Child Languages in Canadian Literature (University of British Columbia Press, 1991).

Child language is a subject in which everyone is an expert.  All parents study their children’s language carefully, if undeliberately, and every family has its precious memories of the unique verbal improvisations of childhood.  For writers who continually struggle with and revel in the mysteries of language, the language of children holds a special attraction.

Everyday Magic looks at the way Canadian writers have written through as distinct from for or about, children, at the ways they have used “child language” and children’s modes of perception to achieve various literary effects.  It describes how texts might be shaped by child usage and speculates that adult artists often find themselves surprised and informed by the child language they seek to create.

Ricou examines how the distinctive features of child language described by psycholinguists intersect with the written languages used by writers to suggest, not only child language, but also the way a child sees and organizes an understanding the world.  The book’s subtitle, putting the term “child language” into the plural, points out that not one, but many different written interpretations of the child’s perspective are possible.