“The Guardians of Childhood” Books by William Joyce, article by Kirsteen Mclay-Knopp

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The Guardians of Childhood is a series of children’s picture books and novels and the inspiration for DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians adaptation. The books are written and illustrated by author William Joyce, whose other works include George Shrinks, Santa Calls, A Day with Wilbur Robinson, and the much loved Rolie Polie Olie series, which has earned Joyce three Emmy awards.


A luminous new book series from William Joyce that redefines the icons of childhood: Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Sandman, the Man in the Moon and many more. Published by Simon & Schuster, these books explore the mythology of childhood legends through vividly illustrated picture books and chapter books for young adults. In November of 2012, the series became an animated feature film from DreamWorks Animation:Rise of the Guardians.


We at “The Forever Years” love this series and the movie, because they epitomise the “magic of childhood”, the magic of “believing”.    Many parents and carers disagree about the benefits to children of believing in characters such as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny and those of Christian faith often feel that the latter two detract from the true meaning of the festivals they represent.  Leaving these arguments aside, however, the “magic of childhood” is a universal concept.  We all have childhood memories of times which seemed “magical” or, perhaps for want of a better description, times filled with warmth and family, positive surprises and wonder.  Most people have at least one such childhood memory, no matter how good or bad their other childhood experiences might  have been.  As adults, we are tasked with “paying the magic forward” and creating opportunities for our children to see that the world can, indeed, be an amazing and wonder-filled place.

The character of “Pitch Black”, who represents “the bogey man” or “monsters under the bed”, is a generalised depiction of childhood fears coming to life.  He also seems to represent adult cynicism, a loss of the “wonder” of childhood.

Pitch is everything a child fears, and he thrives on the fear of children, taking a cruel delight in turning their pleasant dreams into nightmares. But what Pitch hates is when children overcome their fears and don’t believe in him, particularly when parents tell their kids that the Boogeyman is just a bad dream. 


In many ways we adults are the “Guardians of Childhood”.  We choose how much cynicism, apathy or sometimes downright defeatism and lack of self-belief we impart to our kids, which in turn effects their outlook on life as they grow into adults… including their belief in themselves and their ability to influence the world around them.  While childhood, and life in general, cannot be perfect or ideal all the time, striving to keep a sense of hope and wonder in our children’s “forever years” is giving them a gift which will stay with them throughout their lives… and which they will “pay forward” to their own children.

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The new Disney/Pixar film: “Inside Out”

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It’s something all of us experience- emotion! 

After all, we’re human beings and we’re all one big ball of em! Especially our children. In fact, on the parenting journey, we will experience a lot of emotion, ourselves, but also from our children.

That’s why we love the new Disney/Pixar film Inside Out. It’s a creative and fun perspective on human emotion and how it translates into our everyday life, especially our children’s lives.

(Read more about Inside Out and parenting insights to be gained from it by following the link below…)


View the film trailer below…



25 Of The Best Family Movies For Teaching Honesty, Grit, Courage & More, by Tiffanie Ceynar.


It’s so hard as a parent to draw our kids in to meaningful conversations, isn’t it?

Especially if the conversation is about something extremely important, but rather abstract in the minds of our kids, as the topic of building character?

Then again who says you have to sweat it out?

I’m a lazy parent – if there’s an easier way to do the job as well without me having to do all the heavy lugging, I’ll take that option any day, and twice on Sundays.

Which is why I love family movie nights.

The lights are dimmed in the house, and the sun is starting to set. The sound of “pop-pop-pop” is coming from the kitchen and the buttery smell of popcorn is wafting through the house. With the smells and familiar sounds, the children are running around, gathering their favorite pillows and blankets.

The oldest calls the longer couch. The younger one chooses her white fluffy blanket and the pink pillow, and decides to make a pallet on the floor.

Meanwhile, I am putting the DVD in, feeling grateful for the quiet moments that lie ahead. More than likely a scuffle or two about someone’s blanket touching someone else’s is happening in the background (hey, life isn’t perfect and they ARE siblings, after all).

As the last of the advertisements wind down, I spread the popcorn and drinks around the room, while the comforting and familiar sound of the “Feature Presentation” hits our ears.

At last, everyone is settled in.

Ah, bliss.

But this is not the only reason I love movie nights.

Did you know that it’s been scientifically proven that movies have the ability to persuade and teach our children?

Really. It’s true. This article on the power of persuasion by Dr. Jeremy Dean discusses the psychological reasons behind why movies work so well to influence our thought process. One of the comments he makes is this “Stories work so well to persuade us because, if they’re well told, we get swept up in them, we are transported inside them.”

So since that is true, what if we secretly stacked the cards in our favor? What if we, as parents, were very strategic in the movies that we choose and then used that impressionable time right after the movie concluded to discuss and impress upon our child the favorable character traits we want them to glean from that show?

(To read more follow the link below…)