Story time: Public Library

Some Fridays throughout the summer,the Pleasanton Public Library puts on a story time event for preschoolers. Each week, a librarian or author reads the children a story, followed by a small activity or discussion. On Friday, a librarian read the story The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. In this short story, a young boy named Duncan opens his crayon box only to find letters from his crayons telling him that they quit. The crayons highlight the reasons why they are tired of being overused, under-appreciated, or used incorrectly. For example, Orange and Yellow argue over who is the right color of the sun and White is frustrated because he is the same color of the paper. Each page is written in the color of the crayon and have illustrations that the crayons drew. At the end of the book, the librarian asked the children if they agreed with the crayons. One little girl said that she uses white to mix with other colors, so her white crayon isn’t sad.

The event was a great display of how children’s stories have underlying themes of empathy. The children were able to relate to the characters (the crayons) in the story and understand why they were upset. It connected to my guiding questions because it illustrates how empathy is represented in literature, but is not the main purpose of the story. The author invites children to see a different perspective from an unlikely character.

Pleasanton Public Library, Large Meeting Room: 400 Old Bernal Ave, Pleasanton, CA 94566


Empathy Conference

From July 14-July 16, there will be a conference at Mansfield College in Oxford, England. This is the 3rd conference from the Empathy Project and people from all over the world attend. At this conference, speakers discuss how people communicate with each other through literature and other arts. They talk about how empathy is represented in books, children’s and adult, as well as film and art piece. The Empathy Project discuss people’s ability to empathize and whether it is a skill to be learned or something we are born with.
There are different talks throughout the day, Empathy 1, Empathy 2, and Empathy 3, where various professionals will be discussing empathy. Empathy 3 is the most relevant to my guiding questions. In the conference, speakers will be discussing how empathy is represented in life through story telling: novels, short stories, plays, online stories, and picture books. The main question it is addressing is how does empathy play a role in “the narrative arts of literature”.
The conference answers my questions about the representation of empathy in children’s literature because speakers vary from authors, philosophers, publishers, and advocates for literature. It brings great insight into literature and the presence of empathy in writing.
Fairbarin, S., & Fisher, R. (n.d.). Call for Presentations. Retrieved July 06, 2016, from

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