One thing that struck me as interesting while I was researching J.K. Rowling was her inspiration. I mentioned in another post that she received the inspiration for Harry Potter during a train commute. Although her inspiration was for a world of fantasy that seems completely separate from our world, her inspiration was from her own experience and surroundings.
Although fantasy writers have to create their own world, they have nothing to base it on but the world around us. Author Lloyd Alexander once stated “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It is a way of understanding it”.
I wonder if this is one of the reasons that children respond so well to fantasy stories. Instead of searching for an escape, it is actually helping them to make sense of the “grown-up” world around them.