Play can and does, of course, assume many forms—role-playing, play-acting, traditional games, games invented on the spot, imaginative play—and all of these preoccupy children both in our world and in the worlds of children's literature. Canadian author L. M. Montgomery's child characters, from the renowned Anne Shirley and her children to the less familiar Emily Starr and Marigold Lesley, all engage in play that empowers them and helps them become more true to themselves. Sociologists and psychologists, as well as teachers and parents, have long recognized the power of play in children's development. Imaginative role-play, as well as imaginary worlds and the friends who populate them, provides a strong thread of comfort and empowerment in Montgomery's corpus. While Marigold ultimately leaves behind her richly imagined world, other characters, like Anne Shirley, understand the value of imaginative play even as they mature.