The Seed and the Vision

On the Writing and Appreciation of Children's Books

Original publication: 1993, Dutton

Original price: $24.99
Original cover:‚Äč Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Artist's Son Jean, Drawing (1901)

From the flap:

"'Rich in content, abundant and perceptive in treatment,' wrote The Horn Book of The Green and Burning Tree, Eleanor Cameron's first and now classic exploration of children's books. Readers will find this new volume of her essays no less fascinating and no less devoted to the transforming power of fiction for children.


Mrs. Cameron explores issues and questions that have been of lifelong interest, extending and deepening her earlier thinking. In the title essay she examines childhood experience and the writer to come, later taking up the power of dreams and the unconscious in the work of Sendak, Stevenson, Barrie, Carroll, White, and Le Guin, and in her own novels, too.


Discussing the creation of character, she looks at Paterson, Mahy, Voight, Cassedy, and Hoban, among others. And she illuminates other topics as well, including the pleasures and problems of time fantasy; the responsibilities of the critic; and the use and misuse of imagery. Throughout run two themes of passionate interest to her: the power of place and the power of private vision.


This is a work of inestimable value to writers, teachers, librarians, students, parents - to anyone interested in giving our youth, as Mrs. Cameron says, 'not what it already knows, but what it has not yet divined.'" 


Paperback edition:

Plume, 1994


Essays:

"The Seed and the Vision"

"Matters of Character"

"The Fleas in the Cat's Fur"

"One Woman as Writer and Feminist: Searching for Balance"

"The Inmost Secret"

"The Pleasures and Problems of Time Fantasy"

"The Inimitable Frances"

"On Criticism, Awards, and Peaches"

"With Wrinkled Brow and Cool Fresh Eye"

"Into Something Rich and Strange"

"Of Dreams, Art, and the Unconscious"