Aside

Characters

Tomorrow is “National Reading Day” in the U.S.A., a day for pre-k thru 3rd graders to (hopefully) happily read and develop the literacy foundation they’ll need throughout school and life. (http://national-reading-day.org)

Thinking about the books I loved in elementary school made me realize something I had never really thought about before.

When you think about great classic books, especially children’s books, you remember the general setting, the tone, and of course, the main characters. Everyone remembers Peter Pan from Neverland had a friend named Tinkerbell. We all know that the Red Queen chased Alice through Wonderland. And who could forget that Aslan welcomed the Pevensie children into Narnia…well, eventually. However, does anyone remember the minor characters? Do you have a favorite?

I know that some of my absolute favorite characters are those who seem to slip in and out of the storyline, almost undetected but for a swift pun or stunning swordplay before they once again fade out of the limelight. For example, Nana and the mermaids of Neverland, a myriad of talking animals throughout children’s stories (Reepacheep, the Beavers, DorMouse, Mock Turtle, etc.), and perhaps even the Woodsman of fairy tale lore can be called a minor character who plays a major role.

Some characters have been given the dubious honor of being both a major and minor character in literature. For example, Mr. Tumnus the Fawn plays a great role in the beginning of the Lucy’s adventure into Narnia, but then fades out of the story for a while. The Mad Hatter comes and goes and, though he continues throughout the Wonderland narratives, he does not always have much of a role to play.

I must confess that the Mad Hatter is my favorite character from the Lewis Carroll’s works, and the subsequent television and film adaptations. Who is your favorite “minor character”?

May your imagination never cease to amaze, may your life follow your dreams, and may you have a Blessed Day!

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