Messages From The Dragon

 

Message from the Dragon (Fall 2016)

For only one reason . . .

You are reading a magazine that is published for only one reason: to encourage and recognize the creativity of young children.

Children 12 years old and younger are still mostly unfettered by conformity in artistic expression. They paint and write what they see and think. There is no right way, no wrong way. They are unaffected by the views of others. They discover their own thoughts and visions and can show them to each other as part of their shared experience of life and growing. They appreciate and praise each other’s expression.

Some of them grow up to be adult writers and artists. Some of them are well known, some of them please themselves, friends, and family with their original ideas.

Creativity is one of the most valuable contributions any of us can make to our world. New thought, invention, solution, exploration and definition lead us to enriched and better lives. Different views of people, religion, education, culture, science and the arts come from all of us if we are encouraged to be creative.

Magic Dragon publishes the writing and art of our youngest creative people. We encourage them to help make our world positive, fresh, constructive, and beautiful. We are proud to present this inspiration to everyone.

 

Patricia Roesch
Editor

 

Message from the Dragon (Spring 2016)

We have a particularly delightful selection of poems and stories in this issue of Magic Dragon.
A poem and an essay, Blood Orange Moon and The Moon, take us back to the beauty and mystery of last year’s Blood Moon eclipse.
Sea tells us of octopuses that “look like boulders hunting fish.”
Mysterious Light draws us through a hole in the sky but can we return?
A homeless, blue-eyed kitten gets a break in A Life Gone Right.
Perseverance and victory on a right-left-right track is the theme in The Combination Lock.
Green Jewel is a fishing story but “the one that got away” wasn’t a fish!
Beware of what you keep beside your bed is the advice in The Magic Egg.
Pandora the Elf tells the adventures of a tall, thin elf who always wears a purple dress.
An archer describes the excitement of a perfect shot in Bullseye.
Dancing in the Rain is about losing your troubles in a downpour!
A poem of one-word lines, Best You Can Do, gives directions on how to be a tried and true person.
You Should Be Happy tells us why and under what circumstances you should cultivate a sunny disposition and what will happen if you do!
A meager but happy dinner story is told in The Feast.
Grandma and grandpa throw a day full of fun in The Wild West Tradition.
All these AND great art, inspiration by Henri Matisse, Writing a Tyburn Poem, and How to Paint Watercolor Trees round out this special issue.
Enjoy!

Patricia Roesch
Editor

 

Message from the Dragon (Winter 2015)

Congratulations to Magic Dragon! We are 10 years old! And congratulations to all the young writers and artists who have been published in Magic Dragon since 2005.

Our purpose is, and always has been, to encourage children’s creative thinking and expression through writing and art. Magic Dragon recognizes young artists and writers by publishing their poems and stories and paintings and sculptures. In the past 10 years, we have published more than 2500 creations by children 12 years old and younger.

We also regularly post children’s art and writing on our Facebook page.

This year, for the second time, we will exhibit children’s writing and art that has been published in Magic Dragon in the Community Gallery at Barnes & Noble in Pittsford, New York.

We are excited about publishing some of the children’s writing and art from the local Writers Contest sponsored by PBS KIDS at WXXI in Rochester, NY. The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. The Contest encourages children in grades K-3 in communities across the country to celebrate the power of creating stories and illustrations by submitting their own original pieces.

Magic Dragon will participate this year with the Horizons Program at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, a six-week summer enrichment program that engages K-8 Rochester City School District students in meaningful and authentic learning experiences. This gives Magic Dragon another opportunity to fulfill our purpose to encourage creative expression in young children.

And in each issue in 2015, we will publish two pages of selected art and writing from the past 10 years of Magic Dragon!

So, kids, send Magic Dragon your creative writing and art work and we’ll do the rest!

 

Patricia Roesch
Editor

 

Message from the Dragon (Summer 2015)

We publish Magic Dragon for two reasons — to encourage children to be creative and to support the arts in education. When teachers send us writing and art from their students, we accomplish both our goals at once. When teachers use Magic Dragon as a tool in their classrooms, we blend these goals again. We’d like to share with you some of the comments we have received from teachers.

 

“Magic Dragon breathes fire into my 6th grade students’ writing, igniting creative embers that burst into glorious life.  My class can’t wait for the next issue to roar into the mailbox, since a visit from the dragon always means adventure. Thanks to Magic Dragon and its hard-working staff, they’ve been able to vicariously visit beautiful rainforests, splash with seals, and climb into a spacecraft for outer space excitement. I also believe that reading about the dreams and desires of their counterparts across the continent has really inspired them to be better storytellers themselves. May your wonderful magazine continue to make magic for many years to come!”
Allison Roche, 6th Grade Language Arts, Madison Middle School, Trumbull, CT

 

“Magic Dragon is an essential part of my classroom community. It provides my students with an audience for their writing. When a new issue of Magic Dragon arrives in the mail, children eagerly scan the issue for their published pieces. When their work is published, mile-wide smiles spread across faces and eyes twinkle with pride. At that moment, students truly feel like writers. Thank you for providing such a wonderful place for my students’ writing. Magic Dragon is truly a special magazine.”
Pam Cyr, Shelburne Community School, Shelburne, VT

 

“The Magic Dragon is an incredible resource.  I have used it as an inspiration for projects in my K – 4 elementary art room.  More importantly, it is a real confidence builder for my students.  Seeing their work in print makes them feel important and motivates them to keep making art.  It’s the ultimate affirmation.  I’m so pleased to be a part of it – what a great find! Thanks so much for all you do.”
Fay Rosenthal, Art Teacher, Glenside Elementary School, Glenside, PA

 

“Magic Dragon has been an amazing experience for my students. It has boosted their self-esteem and shown them how they can reach their potential. The magazine has been an effective way to foster the joy of learning and inspire my students in the arts.”
Maureen Frazer, Rochester City School District

 

“My students and I love everything about Magic Dragon!  With each issue we learn new and different ways to express our creativity.  Students love seeing work by their peers from other states.  I have been collecting copies of Magic Dragon for years, and we have a Magic Dragon reading center where students use the magazine for buddy reading and sharing.  Every time a new issue comes to us they ask me, “Can we try this?”   An added bonus is there are no advertisements, which to me really enhances the publication. Keep up the great work!”
Roberta Zivanov, M.S., National Board Certified Teacher, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

 

“Magic Dragon magazine is an inspirational and motivational tool for me to use in the art room. I show students examples of what other students are creating around the country and then I show them examples of work from our students in the same magazine. Students are shocked and excited when they realize their art work is going to be published in a national magazine. Parents and teachers are impressed with the color and quality of this magazine. We love it!”
Amy Graham, Rochester City School District

 

“I value Magic Dragon in my art classroom, using it as an inspiration for my students at Rochester City School #43 in hopes that they become published artists. In the beginning of, and throughout, the year we check out the art and writings in Magic Dragon, and especially enjoy it when we see a similar topic of art. To display students’ artwork in our school and in our city is very exciting but even more so when it is published in a magazine! Our students love to read and browse through books and magazines. They are always asking if they can take Magic Dragon with them, however I need to keep it in my room so that all may enjoy!”
Susan Houghton, Rochester City School District

 

We publish the names of all the schools represented in each issue on page 2. Thanks to all the teachers who help us make Magic Dragon a super special magazine!

Patricia Roesch
Editor

 

Message from the Dragon (Spring 2015)

Summer is approaching and we are always excited about the children’s creative writing and art that comes to us after these days of “freedom.” Just a few words about this wonderful issue at hand.

Art depicting Day of the Dead appears on several of these pages. This is a Mexican holiday that is also celebrated in many cultures around the world. It is a day on which families and friends gather to remember and pray for their loved ones who have died to help support them on their spiritual journey.

Day of the Dead is celebrated on October 31, November 1, and November 2 and coincides with the Roman Catholic festivals of All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. The holiday goes back hundreds of years to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuati. Today people honor the dead they personally remember with  sugar skulls and marigolds, the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visits to graves.  You’ll find Day of the Dead art on pages 6 and 7, and on the inside back cover.

The folk art on this page and pages 16 and 17 represents the tradition of art from Oaxaca in the Central Valleys of Mexico. This folk art is known for its quality and variety. The most common are ceramics and textiles, followed by art made from wood and leather. Other crafts include metal work, embroidery, stone work, furniture and more.

You can see what children in Rochester, New York made from clay, paper, and paint. The colorful Mexican animals and folk characters jump from the pages!

Keep your writing and art blossoming during the summer and send your best efforts to Magic Dragon so we can choose some for publication.

 

Patricia Roesch

Editor

 

Message from the Dragon (Winter 2015)

Congratulations to Magic Dragon! We are 10 years old! And congratulations to all the young writers and artists who have been published in Magic Dragon since 2005.

Our purpose is, and always has been, to encourage children’s creative thinking and expression through writing and art. Magic Dragon recognizes young artists and writers by publishing their poems and stories and paintings and sculptures. In the past 10 years, we have published more than 2500 creations by children 12 years old and younger.

We also regularly post children’s art and writing on our Facebook page.

This year, for the second time, we will exhibit children’s writing and art that has been published in Magic Dragon in the Community Gallery at Barnes & Noble in Pittsford, New York.

We are excited about publishing some of the children’s writing and art from the local Writers Contest sponsored by PBS KIDS at WXXI in Rochester, NY. The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. The Contest encourages children in grades K-3 in communities across the country to celebrate the power of creating stories and illustrations by submitting their own original pieces.

Magic Dragon will participate this year with the Horizons Program at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, a six-week summer enrichment program that engages K-8 Rochester City School District students in meaningful and authentic learning experiences. This gives Magic Dragon another opportunity to fulfill our purpose to encourage creative expression in young children.

And in each issue in 2015, we will publish two pages of selected art and writing from the past 10 years of Magic Dragon!

So, kids, send Magic Dragon your creative writing and art work and we’ll do the rest!

 

Patricia Roesch

Editor

 

Message from the Dragon (Fall 2014)

Chances are when you pick up your copy of Magic Dragon, the first thing you see are color and shapes. The cover jumps at you –
charming – a child’s view from the window
provocative – what does this represent?
intriguing – how DID they do this?
WOW!
Then you open the magazine and the pages reveal more color – in art AND in writing. You find an enormously varied palette in the stories, poems, and essays.
If you listen to what you read, you will hear children discovering their world first hand. You will hear a wild imagination take a fantasy trip in a covered wagon, through space, or under the earth. You can travel unencumbered by laws of physics, time, and sometimes punctuation and syntax. It really doesn’t matter – just getting there is the point and the story! There are no rules for the very young telling a story. It comes out just the way they want it to. “Quick Thinking” represents this approach – definitely no rules here, but you do want to find out what happens – that’s what stories are for, isn’t it?
Poems draw a picture of observation – you see nature through young eyes, sports from the beginner athlete, interpersonal relations from the new explorer. Poetry gives the young writer a form to understand and reveal developing emotions and changing points of view. You can follow a young person as she or he writes down what is seen and not seen, then perhaps what might be or might not be as a result of the observation. “Tern,” “The Bike Ride,” “Haiku” share observations with you. “I’m Not Alone,” “What Am I Afraid Of?” and “Back When I Had Fun” share deeper emotions.
Essays open the door to a short examination of an incident or a feeling. Sometimes humorous – “Do I Really Have To Do This?” and sometimes sensitive – “Neighbor In Need,” essays are kind of the lab project for asking questions and understanding answers.
Writing about anything gives children a whole set of discovery tools and some directions on how to use them. Encourage the words!

Patricia Roesch
Editor

 

Message from the Dragon (Summer 2014)

We have a great collection of writing and art in this issue and furthermore, we have some creative work from unusual places.

A boy from Mill Valley, California writes about his favorite place – you’d be surprised what it is.

A number of short poems from very young children in Geneseo, New York are found here and there.

“The Flying Pig” comes from Charlotte Turnbull who lives in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.

We have a refreshing collection of poems from children at the American School of Warsaw – yes, Poland! – that take advantage of some graphic tricks as well as make word sense. This note came in the mail in May – “My name is Bree Kraft and I am a First Grade teacher at the American School of Warsaw. Please find attached poems and permission forms for my students.” When you read them you will realize that some were written to follow specific directions from the teacher. They are bright and stimulating. All the poems from Konstancin-Jeziorna or Warsaw are from students at the American School.

We don’t ask for illustrations to match the stories we publish, so we couldn’t believe how perfectly the drawing by Clementine Rakovan (“Self Portrait Queen”) complements the story by Hannah Lopez titled, “The Power of Saliva.” You won’t want to miss it! And Clementine is only 6 years old!

A totally awesome collection of ceramic masks comes from students in Pittsford, New York. And check out how some collages from Pittsford students, “Endangered Animals and Synthetic Cubism,” are created.

Several Mardi Gras-type masks are presented by students at School 45 in Rochester. These are really beautiful. You’d be delighted to cover your face with them.

And we have to mention the wacky dog portraits from Glenside Elementary in Pennsylvania.

The Write It columns tells you how to make up words for your poems and the art project is How To design a fish.

So, turn the page and get into it!

Patricia Roesch
Editor

 

Message from the Dragon (Spring 2014)

Last month Magic Dragon participated in a book fair at our local Barnes and Noble store. If you are unfamiliar with these Bookfairs, B&N hosts schools and other nonprofit organizations in a fundraiser at their stores. Shoppers who are supporting the organization use a special ID number and a percentage of all their purchases is donated to the organization. It’s fun, it brings customers into B&N, and it can put a little extra money in the pot for the nonprofits.
Our particular store also has a Community Room that is used for meetings, poetry readings, art exhibits, etc., so it was perfect for Magic Dragon to set up an exhibit of art and poetry. Volunteer teachers from our area came in for the day to guide mini art and poetry workshops. It was a huge success!

Some comments from our Guest Book at the exhibit were:

“All the work is lovely! As an artist myself, it is wonderful to see such young artists with such imagination.”

“Love it! Such imagination. Love the bright colors and joy! Great poetry. Keep it up!”

“Incredible art and such young artists! You are all wonderful and your work is ALIVE.”

“I am inspired by this work. Amazing!”

“Wow! Absolutely wonderful. Love the colors and most of all the talent shown throughout each piece. Keep up the great work.”

“Wonderful! I came for a meeting and couldn’t keep my eyes off this imaginative, colorful display of art. Thank you all! P.S. Poetry was amazing, too!”

“I can’t wait to get home and paint – this show is very special, and I see a lot of shows.” (This from an art professor emeritus!)

So, that’s what Magic Dragon presents – imagination, color, joy. And it’s all from you!

Patricia Roesch
Editor

 

Message from the Dragon (Winter 2014)

Browsing the web for “importance of arts in education,” I found an article called “Arts and Smarts” in the Greater Good Science Center newsletter (http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/). Here is a point of view from that article, written in 2008.

“Many arts researchers and advocates have reacted strongly against efforts – in research, among advocacy groups, or in schools – that overemphasize the link between the arts and academic proficiency.”

Jessica Hoffman Davis, a cognitive developmental psychologist and founder of the Arts Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is one of those voices. “It is not by arguing that the arts can do what other subjects already do (or do better) that a secure place can be found for the arts in education,” she writes in her book, Why Our Schools Need the Arts. “We have been so driven to measure the impact of the arts in education that we . . . forget that their strength lies beyond the measurable.” (Our italics.)

Davis outlines many benefits that are peculiar to the arts, including the quality of empathy. “We need the arts because they remind children that their emotions are equally worthy of respect and expression. The arts introduce children to connectivity, engagement, and allow a sense of identification with, and responsibility for, others.”

Davis once asked people of varying ages, including children, to draw pictures of emotions such as sadness, happiness, and anger. She found that even very young children could express those emotions in their drawings. She observed, “The arts, like no other subject, give children the media and the opportunity to shape and communicate their feelings.”

Our mission with Magic Dragon is to encourage creative thinking and expression in young children and support the arts in education. We give children the “media and the opportunity to shape and communicate their feelings.”

Send us your words and pictures – we’ll do the rest!

Patricia Roesch
Editor