In the mail today I got a pamphlet for a continuing ed seminar on child's play and language as the basis for literacy. The Roots of Literacy - presented by Carol Westby
Did you ever listen in on a young child's pretend play? It can tell you a lot about language and cognitive development. They are creating narratives, and working out their own concepts and conflicts. And narratives are the basis for literacy. Talking during pretend-play is really an early reading activity.
Come to think of it, as adults we are still trying to figure life out through narratives. That's why we love storytelling, movies and novels. And that's why we have a "story" to our own lives.
It's more than escape.