In this article from the Dawn Archives, author Brian “Fox” Ellis talks about the inspiration for his book The Web at Dragonfly Pond.
“The idea came to me while I was a summer camp counselor. The children were complaining about the mosquitoes. I often heard them whine, ‘I wish there were no such things as mosquitoes.’ I knew not to argue with them. I wanted them to know on a visceral level that all things in nature are important, that every creature plays a vital role, and that we are all connected.
“Then I remembered fishing with my father and some of the things I learned from him. Though the story took place over several fishing trips, every detail in the story really happened. The kernel of the story is the simple question, Do you like to listen to bird songs? Do you like to catch fish? Then we need mosquitoes, because they feed the fish and the birds. I have performed this story for audiences of all ages from elementary school students to Ph.D. Aquatic Ecologists.
“When I perform the story, I often stop and engage the audience in conversations about Why and How? Why does the mosquito lay so many eggs? Why does the great blue heron swallow the fish head first? How is our life like the life of a dragonfly? These are the kinds of questions any parent or teacher can ask when they read this book to a child whose sense of wonder they wish to nurture.”