Friday, January 11, 2008

Spit or Swallow?

So apparently striking TV writers are penning kidlit on the side, to keep themselves busy.

Now, upon first reading this, I shrieked, "Oh fer chrissakes!" all ready to spit fire and bile. Then I stopped and thought.

Granted, the breezy little article does take an "oh-how-cute-writing-for-the-kiddies" tone. However, is this really in the same league as Madonna thinking she can write? After all, unlike her, these folks make a living (or did, until the strike) at writing, so clearly they know what they're doing with words on a page. At least one person quoted writes TV for kids. He's a "Rugrats" writer, a show that's pretty good at capturing the secret world of kids and the glorious cluelessness of adults.

Then, on the other side, books are a different medium from TV, and other writers mentioned write for "The Simpsons" and "Malcolm in the Middle," which are good shows but definitely take a cynical, sophisticated view of the world. I've read "kids books" like that. I didn't like them. They always seemed to be winking at the audience and saying, "Those crazy kiddies! They'll believe anything!"

On the other other side (are we back at the first side?) writers are no more one-note Johnnys than any of the rest of us. Just because they write in one style or tone most of the time, it shouldn't mean they can't switch.

On the other other other side (oo . . . dizzy), kids on TV shows are so often no more than wacky miniature adults who say the darnedest things. This demonstrates a lack of understanding about kids that worries me when it comes to making that little munchkin the main character of a whole book.

So I put it to you: spit fire and bile? Or swallow it (for now) and see what kind of books are produced?

Thanks to Bookshelves of Doom for the link.

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