One Third of Parents Avoid Reading Children Scary Stories, Study Finds [The Guardian] “A survey of 1,003 UK parents by online bookseller The Book People found that 33% would steer clear of books for their children containing frightening characters. Asked about the fictional creations they found scariest as children, a fifth of parents cited the Wicked Witch of the West from L Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with the Child Catcher from Ian Fleming’s Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang in second place. Third was the Big Bad Wolf, in his grandmother-swallowing Little Red Riding Hood incarnation, fourth the Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl’s The Witches, and fifth Cruella de Vil, from Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians.”
"None of that for the Boxcar Children, who are so Puritan that Henry worries, out loud, that building a pool on Sunday would be amoral—before Jessie justifies the activity by saying that the pool will help them keep clean. " The Spirit Of Capitalism and 'The Boxcar Children' - Jia Tolentino for the 'New Yorker'
Who was the woman behind Pippi Longstocking? Freshly released wartime diaries along with a new biography reveal Astrid Lindgren, author of some of the world's most beloved children's literature, to be as radical and determined as her best-known character.
A Highly Irregular Children’s Story: David Gates reviews The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine, a children's book by Donald Barthelme. [Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 1976]
The Burgess Animal Book for Children - text, illustrations, and audio. Thornton W. Burgess previously.
To Lure Young Readers, Nonfiction Writers Sanitize and Simplify: [New York Times]
"Inspired by the booming market for young adult novels, a growing number of biographers and historians are retrofitting their works to make them palatable for younger readers."
"Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else."
What's the right age to introduce children to literature with challenging themes? Authors, teachers, librarians and critics weigh in. (SLNYT)
In [a series of notes to Noel Moore, the oft-sickly son of her former governess], Potter punctuates her words with small, sweet illustrations: 'I have come a very long way in a puff-puff …' (next to a train), a straightforward, 'Here are some rabbits throwing snow balls,' and, of course, Peter’s debut in a special dispatch from 1893. - Beatrix Potter’s Picture Letters, The Birthplace Of Peter Rabbit [more inside]
"This is about a girl that goes mining. I don’t know why, but she looks like she would go mining, mining for gold. " Judging a Book by its Cover: A 6-Year-Old Guesses What Classic Novels are All About.
Was your favorite childhood book written by a radical lefty? Scholars reveal the socialist history of 20th century American children's literature. Discover the myriad connections between midcentury American socialism and Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon), Syd Hoff (Danny and the Dinosaur), and the authors of many of the Little Golden Books and I Can Read Books.
Enclyclopedia Brown is a children's fiction series written by Donald J. Sobol since 1963 and still very popular today. These are the 10 most ridiculously difficult mysteries in the series and baffling as to how a child is supposed to be able to solve them.
Martin Amis hates children, ok, not children but children's literature. "People ask me if I ever thought of writing a children's book," Amis said, in a sideways excursion from a chat about John Self, the antihero of his 1984 novel Money. "I say, 'If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children's book', but otherwise the idea of being conscious of who you're directing the story to is anathema to me, because, in my view, fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable." Remarks about children's books made by Martin Amis on the BBC's new book programme Faulks on Fiction, broadcast this week, have caused anger and offence among children's writers.
The Giving Tree (1973), animated short based on Shel Silverstein's 1964 children's story and narrated by the author. [more inside]
"The Baldwin Project seeks to make available online a comprehensive collection of resources for parents and teachers of children. Our focus, initially, is on literature for children that is in the public domain in the United States. This includes all works first published before 1923." [more inside]
The Book of Accidents: Designed for Young Children (1831). "In presenting to his little readers The Book of Accidents, the Author conceives he cannot render a more important service to the rising generation and to parents, than by furnishing them with an account of the accidents to which Children, from their inexperience or carelessness, are liable. If generally studied it will save the lives of thousands, and relieve many families from the long and unavailing misery attendant on such occurrences." [Via]
My Beautiful Mommy is a children's book for children whose mothers suddenly come home from the doctor with giant hooters, or significant amounts of fat suddenly missing. A bold new market in childrens publishing awaits.
Lit2Go - tons of stories, tales and poems suitable for younger readers: HTML, PDF, and MP3s. From Baa, Baa, Black Sheep to Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, and Flatland.
Scientific Sleuth Cracks Code to $54,000 Treasure The treasure was the 12th and last set out in Treasure's Trove , a children's book published last fall. People shared information on many forums. The solution to the Beetle puzzle is in this forum. Missed out? All is not lost. Apparently, a new 14th puzzle has been announced. Maybe we can solve it together.
Online collection of children's literature circa 1850 and up. Primarily American and British, from thrilling stories of the ocean to a peep at the beasts. Every page (and even the spine) digitized in both JPEG and PDF format, and in some cases color-corrected. (Similar collections have been posted here previously)
10 Books to Feed the Imagination. Just in time for World Book Day, Lady Georgia Byng offers her favorite tomes for sparking a child's fancy. The usual suspects are here (Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman) with a couple of welcome surprises (Yann Martel and Jostein Gaarder). But tell me, MeFites ... which others did she miss?
Comrade, is Piglet revisionism getting you down? Don't be an enemy of the people. Brush up on your Maoist theory with the Mao of Poo.
How to get a Ph.D. in the Hardy Boys. I wish *I* was that creative. :-) I still like the originals best. [Spotted at GirlHacker's Random Log]