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Annis Duff

  • It is probably just as well that there is no specified training for parenthood beyond just living. There is no job in the world where rules are so likely to be a delusion and a snare. For every child is different from every other child in potentialities, disposition and temperament, and needs his own special kind of parents.

  • ... in my own childhood, as far back as I could remember, books had shed a glow of delight on everything I did.

  • Reading, for young children, is rarely a pleasure in isolation, but comes through shared pleasure and constant discerning exposure to books so that they fall naturally into the category of pleasant necessities, along with food, sleep, music and all out-of-doors.

  • All words belong to children. They choose them for their own use by the simple process of taking possession of the ones they need to express what they want to say. If children do not hear speech that has variety and liveliness, and if their books do not have unfamiliar words tucked in like bright little surprises among the everyday ones, how in the world are they ever to accumulate a store of language to draw on, as new experiences and sensations increase the need and desire to communicate with the people they live with?

  • Bread-making is an occupation very conducive, I find, to reflective contemplation. Bread is so fundamental, and there is such satisfaction in kneading and shaping the responsive sponge, and in taking the finished loaves, brown and comely and sweet-smelling, from the oven.

  • Some of the best conversations that I have ever heard have been all about food, and there is a special warmth and intimacy about books in which the details of eating and drinking are described with a proper regard for their importance. Hunger, and the satisfaction of hunger, are almost the least common denominator of human living ...

Annis Duff, Canadian writer, librarian, editor

(1904 - 1986)

Full name: Annis James Duff.