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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

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litlove

I so rarely read children's books when I'm in need of comfort and yet, why not? So many are completely charming and delightful and full of wisdom. This sounds a treat.

Lori, the eclectic book gatherer

Hello. I too love to read vintage children's books sometimes and this is one I've yet to read but have been interested in, it sounds delightful.

Helen

Dear litlove, while I do admit that I re-read children's books out of nostalgia for my lost childhood (and I include in this books which I never read as a child, only as an adult) and entirely for comfort, I think that a really good children's book is the equal of many good adult's books. Writing for children poses limitations but also offers freedoms too. But I think that one should always read what one likes for comfort, and children's books won't do it for everyone.

Dear Lori, welcome! Thank you for your comment. I've no idea if you'd enjoy this, but you know, there's only one way to find out... :)

Alex

As someone who lectured in children's literature for many years I can only second your comment that many books written for children are as good as those for adults. They often treat difficult themes much more directly and can ask really piercing questions of the reader. I very much miss not having the necessity to keep up with what is current and I've made a concerted effort this past year to get back in touch with what is coming out. If you haven't yet read Katherine Applegate's "The One and Only Ivan" please do.

Helen

Dear Alex, thanks so much for that recommendation! I'll make a note of it... I have a very limited knowledge of children's books and it stops in about 1985, so it's nice to learn about more recent publications.

While I don't think that you can be as experimental in form and language in a children's book as you can in an adult's, I quite agree about treating difficult themes and asking piercing questions. I have the impression that more children than adults are open to being challenged by fiction, that they don't 'comfort read' in quite the same way as adults. And they are much more open to mixing up fantasy and reality.

Caroline

Oh I enjoyed reading this. It's a favourite book of mine although I discovered it as an adult. I suppose when we are children we read far less books in translation and since I'm of German/French speaking origin, most books were from those countries.
I saw your post on Richard's side bar and had to look since I'm planning on dedicating large portions of June to reading children's books.
I never thought they were less well written than books for adults. I suppose people start to have problems to differentiate between YA and children's books. A lot of YA books are not that well written.
One of my favourites is Tom's Midnight Garden.

Helen

Dear Caroline, thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I love 'Tom's Midnight Garden' too. I didn't realise you were planning to devote so much of June to reading children's books, what fun!

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