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History Helps

The essential is hope. There are many trying situations that we can struggle through if we have hope that things can perhaps get better. The process of writing is in itself a struggle to arrive at this human understanding. It is almost a metaphor for dealing with the difficulties we face in life. I enjoy writing stories about history because it is a way to arrive at some basic human truths. Showing, through stories, that things that happened long ago are not so different from events of today is a way of saying that the lessons of history can help us to make better choices. I think it was the Australian author Mem Fox who said that “writing a picture book is like writing ‘War and Peace’ in haiku.”

Karen B. Winnick is the author and illustrator of the historical picture book Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers and most recently Barn Sneeze.