Snark + Kidslit = Meh

This weekend, a parent asked we what I thought of a certain crazily popular children’s author. Though I have used his books at story time, I am not a big fan. I find his books and characters snarky and think kids will find their inner sass quite well on their own.

Yes, parents luv luv luv these books, especially my fellow Gen-X-ers who adore the TWOP-like meta-commentary. But even though I enjoy sites like gawker and defamer as much as the next cynic, it doesn’t mean I want to spread this cynicism to the next generation. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll surprise us and be relentless optimists.

Well, Janice Harayda over at One-Minute Book Reviews has a lovely quote from Humphrey Carpenter which sums up how I choose the books I read for story time.

“All children’s books are about ideals. Adult fiction sets out to portray the world as it really is; books for children present it as it should be.”

Harayda goes on to observe, “children’s fiction has become far more likely to portray “the world as it really is” and to deal with subjects once found only in books for adults. Not everyone agrees that this change has been beneficial, I’m posting this quote as a reminder of it. Children need to have hope for the future. They get it partly from imaginative literature that shows an ideal world, or life as it could be, not as it is.”

Something to keep in mind when picking out books…

Check out the whole post here. And be sure to poke through the rest of the site too. I’ve found some real gems from her recommendations.


2 Comments on Snark + Kidslit = Meh

  1. Interesting. I’ll check out the whole post.

  2. Cool. It’s funny. I answered the parent in the morning, then came across the quote from One-Minute in the afternoon. It was just too perfect.

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