or try this:
I’ve been having the devil’s own problems with this post (don’t ask – I have actually written it 4 times and been attempting to put in a link and transfer HTML thingies, and it keeps vanishing!
I am so over it, so this time, I’ve started in Word (so I don’t have to all the writing part again if it goes astray) and we’ll see.
I’m so dispirited by my lack of techno savvy I’ve just left the empty post up – and this was after saving and saving and saving! (I learned my lesson about that many years ago!)
I’m going to try and reproduce the immortal prose of earlier posts. In which I bemoaned the state of children’s literature. Presumably the previous posts have now migrated around the blogosphere and will come to roost in someone’s blog about Japanese carpentry techniques of the 15th century or something!
This all started because I took a quiz on the Golden Compass movie website to find my daemon (find the link yourself- I’m too scared to try and post it!)
Turns out my daemon is a tiger called Thaleron and I thought this was cool. Sheere Khan in Jungle Book (the real version with WORDS, not the Disney movie) was always my favourite, so I decided this made me a tiger – ie sleeping in the shade and scaring small children!
This then led me to reminiscing about my favourite children’s classics – Jungle Book, Alice, Wind in the Willows, Swallows and Amazons, Horse with the Green Nose and others. Then the modern classics – Alan Garner, Joan Aiken, Tamora Pierce, Andre Norton, John Flanagan, Eoin Colfer, Phillip Pullman, JK Rowling and so on.
I also bemoaned the fact that many modern award winning children’s books seem to involve incest, abuse, drug taking, sex, violence and so on. I agree that these things really happen, but is it absolutely necessary for children to be forced to read books containing these subjects, and why can’t we promote values of adventurousness, courage, responsibility, curiosity and independence, as illustrated by many of the classics.
Granted, many also contain traces of racism, colonialism and sexism, but many don’t and by ignoring books of this type, we take away the wonder, excitement and beauty contained in them. This came to a head for me when I discovered a picture book which won all sorts of awards written about the war in the former Yugoslavia and the rape and disappearance of the narrator’s mother and sisters, death violence and war. I really didn’t feel such a book was that great for an audience of 3 to 7ish year olds. It had, of course, won lots of awards.
Now I am totally against censorship. But can’t we make space for promoting books containing wonder and beauty, and do we really need to give all the awards to books showing only the ugliness of ‘real’ life? Can’t we allow children space to be innocent and children?
So, strike a blow for fantasy and read a child a book from the classics – read them Milly-Molly-Mandy, or Winnie-the-Pooh. Read it now!
Here endeth the Rant!