Those of us who read, create, study, or teach children’s literature sometimes face skepticism from other alleged adults. Why would adults take children’s books seriously? Shouldn’t adults be reading adult books?
There are many responses to these questions:
- Children’s books are the most important books we read because they’re potentially the most influential books we read. Children’s books reach a young audience still very much in the process of becoming. They stand to make a deeper impression because their readers are much more impressionable.
- Adults who dismiss children’s literature neglect their responsibilities as parents, educators, and citizens. What future parents, teachers, doctors, construction workers, soldiers, leaders, citizens read is of the utmost importance, if for no other reason than some of us will continue live in the world they inherit. If books leave such a powerful impression on young minds, then giving them good books is vital.
- Almost no children’s literature is written, illustrated, edited, marketed, sold, or taught by children. Adults — and adults’ idea of “children” — create children’s books. It’s profoundly hypocritical for an adult to suggest children’s literature as unworthy of adult attention. Indeed, adults who make such claims are either hypocrites, fools, or both.
- Children are as heterogeneous a group as adults are. There is no universal child, just as there is no universal adult. Defining the readership of any work of “children’s literature” is a tricky, sticky, complex task. Paradoxically and as the term itself indicates, “children’s literature” is defined by its audience — it’sforchildren. It thus a literature for an audience whose tastes, reading ability, socio-economic status, hobbies, health, culture, interests, gender, home life, and race varies widely. Children’s literature is literature for an unknowable, unquantifiable group. The very term “children’s literature” is a problem. Only someone who has never thought about children or what they read could argue that children’s literature does not merit serious consideration.
- Children’s literature has aesthetic value. Good children’s books are literature. Good picture books are portable art galleries. If we don’t take children’s literature seriously, then we diminish an entire art form and those who read it. We also prevent ourselves from being able to distinguish quality works from inferior ones — thus neglecting our responsibilities outlined in no. 2, above. This is not to suggest that we can or should all agree on what is a great children’s book. We can’t and we shouldn’t. What we can and should do is care about what makes children’s books bad or good, average or classic, banal or beautiful.
He goes on and it’s worth reading it all.
Kickstarter to keep Yahoo from buying Tumblr.
Yahoo has money?
And the highest paid public employee in your state is…
are you fucking kidding me
Do you ever just see America’s priorities and cry?
I live in Alabama… I read that title and I didn’t even have to LOOK at this map to know what ours would be.
Only one hockey state. Sad, America, sad.
SHERLOCK and JOHN in many shapes and forms! My personal favorite is them as table lamps. Part of my contribution for 7 Patch Problem Artbook.
THE HAMMERHEAD SHARK!
How are all of these so perfect? How are these the perfect lamps?
But the opossum. He’s playing dead.
I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE THAT THE POSSUM WAS PLAYING DEAD. THAT IS AMAZING!!!
Meet me down at the big yellow joint
I made this and it is good, I think.
All you need for this workout is a stack of hardcovers and some yarn or rope to tie them together!
Workout #1: The Book Curl
Workout #2: The Book Up
Workout #3: The Brunch (Book Crunch) - Just like brunch this can be done alone or with a friend!
The Epic Reads team rules massively…
This seems so much more enjoyable than going to the gym.