It's not that children's books are pure entertainment, innocent of any didactic goal — what grown-ups enviously call "Reading for Fun." On the contrary, the reading we do as children may be more serious than any reading we'll ever do again. Books for children and young people are unashamedly prescriptive: They're written, at least in part, to teach us what the world is like, how people are, and how we should behave — as my colleague Megan Kelso (The Squirrel Mother) puts it, "How to be a human being."He waxes a bit rhapsodic about the Wholesome Lessons for the Kiddies in children's books, but I think he's got some points in there. And of course, it's nice to see some respect for the literature.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Books That Changed Your Life
From the Detroit News, an article that asks, "What are the books that really changed your life?" and answers, "Probably a children's book." Further quotage