Notable Quotes

Things are better now, but for a while it seemed like there was a Puritanism running through children's publishing that bore no resemblance to reality.  Kids were thought to be unable to separate the mildly gross from the debauched -- to my mind, a horribly patronizing attitude.  My children adored Roald Dahl, and they had no problem separating out his diet of squashed worm sandwiches from their real dinner.  Fortunately, the socially correct tourniquet around children's books seems to be easing, but a new Big Brother arrived on the scene.  One that says, "We mustn't frighten children with long words and complexity."  It's curious to note that a first-time submission of Alice in Wonderland would probably be passed over by the majority of present-day children's book publishers, and Lewis Carroll would be piling up those little rejection slips.  It really shouldn't be a matter of choosing between Grimm and bland, but as long as we underestimate our children as much as we overestimate ourselves, we will reap the inevitably unpleasant rewards.
Nick Bantock, Artful Dodger

1 comment:

Aravis said...

I agree with this, although I haven't read much of children's literature in recent years.

I've also noticed how sanitized a lot of YA books are. I've seen many listed as appropriate for 12+ years. I'm sorry, but I don't consider 12 yr. olds to be young adults, and I don't feel that YAs should have their books watered down, certainly not to that degree. How can that possibly speak to them at their age, maturity level, and with the sort of life experiences they're actually going through? It doesn't reflect their lives. When I read one of those books I can't help but scoff and roll my eyes a bit and, if I'm being pulled out of a story that way, then the story just isn't that good.

My two cents on the matter. ;0)