by Melanie Fisher (age 9)
The other day I sat down and watched my brother watch a movie
of trains with British accents, or a dog whose name is Snoopy
My brother has been in this world for two years (so he's two)
and watching a movie seems like no easy thing to do
From one scene to another, every single thing just changes
The size of people, from where you look, the jumps in time and places
This would be crazy if it happened in everyday life!
From morning to night, I see no jump in spaces, no leaps in time
So how can my brother watch a movie without going crazy?
Why does he laugh and enjoy, and not find the thing scary?
But then I thought about another thing he really likes to look
He always wants me or mama to read him picture books
And in every page of every book, there are jumps and sudden close-ups
And this happens more in picture books than in books for grown-ups!
This did not answer my question, but it just added another
Why are the craziest books written for toddlers like my brother?
I thought and thought and thought but I could not find a clue
So I asked instead what books and movies are possibly made to do
Films are divided in cuts and scenes, books into chapter and pages
Pages into paragraphs, then sentences, and then into words and spaces
Why divide all things into blocks and then create a mixture?
It makes it easier to read for sure, but what about motion picture?
One thing I think that happens when things are cut in parts
is that the reader has to connect the blocks so things don’t fall apart
The connection is not inside the book or movie, whatever it may be
It's only made up inside the head of the reader or the person who sees
The leaps and jumps make it so that you have to fill in between
And what you make up stays with you even after the ending scene
There are two things you need to make this magic come true
You need the divided blocks but you need something else too
My brother would be lost if there were only jumps and leaps, I think
He could watch because he knew he was watching the same thing
So something was holding the blocks together even before it was seen
That’s why there's books and not just pages, movies, not just scenes
But then I noticed something strange that made me frown
A book laying on a table, or a thumbnail on Netflix, is a block of its own
The world is full of divided blocks everywhere I turn my eyes
There are jumps and leaps and cuts and breaks, it’s full of surprises!
I remember my brother when he was much smaller than now
He always looked around the world like he didn’t know how
The world was a crazy picture book, he was crying so much
I think what held the blocks together then was mama’s touch
I’m not surprised anymore that my brother likes movies and books
Because first, it was the whole world that he had to learn to look
Maybe picture books and movies, or poems like this one
were made to let people know that it is actually fun
to know the many different ways to see and understand
Many more ways to think things than you think you can!