What is wisdom?

I love children’s books, picture books. They can be used as mentor texts from PreK through college. . . National Writing Project has taught me that.  Lessons in picture books are often deeper, can be a spring board for writing, and have life lessons.

The Wise Woman and Her Secret by Eve Merriam/illustrated by Linda Graves. Simon and Schuster Books, 1991.  . . . is such a book. Now I know what you are thinking, it is an old book.  Perhaps. But the message is ever lasting.

It begins. . .

“Once, not so long ago, in the hills past the hollow, there lived a wise woman. She had long, dark hair that was streaked with white like patches of snow on the muddy spring ground.  Her eyes were bright as blackberries, and she had a smile for every creature.  Her voice was soft as the fur of her cat, yet you could hear her every word from far away.She was so wise that people from many towns in the valley gathered together and came to seek her out  if they could discover the secret of her wisdom, how fortunate they might become!”

You can see and hear a lot of great writing craft in just that first page. . . .there are many invitations for writing. Who would come and try to find wisdom? What is the wisdom she might have for each profession? What is the secret to life? Where does she get her secrets? Who the is the wisest person that you know?

Jenny is character that travels through the valley determined to find the wise woman and learn her secrets. She has traveled a long time and finds a tarnished penny. She is about to give up when she sees a cabin. The wise woman is rocking on the porch.

The wisdom is profound that takes most of us a life time to find. Being curious, wondering, and wandering . . .is the secret to staying young and learning for a lifetime.


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