Those of us who read, create, study, or teach children’s literature sometimes face skepticism from other alleged adults. Why would adults take children’s books seriously? Shouldn’t adults be reading adult books?
There are many responses to these questions:
- Children’s books are the most important books we read because they’re potentially the most influential books we read. Children’s books reach a young audience still very much in the process of becoming. They stand to make a deeper impression because their readers are much more impressionable.
- Adults who dismiss children’s literature neglect their responsibilities as parents, educators, and citizens. What future parents, teachers, doctors, construction workers, soldiers, leaders, citizens read is of the utmost importance, if for no other reason than some of us will continue live in the world they inherit. If books leave such a powerful impression on young minds, then giving them good books is vital.
- Almost no children’s literature is written, illustrated, edited, marketed, sold, or taught by children. Adults — and adults’ idea of “children” — create children’s books. It’s profoundly hypocritical for an adult to suggest children’s literature as unworthy of adult attention. Indeed, adults who make such claims are either hypocrites, fools, or both.
- Children are as heterogeneous a group as adults are. There is no universal child, just as there is no universal adult. Defining the readership of any work of “children’s literature” is a tricky, sticky, complex task. Paradoxically and as the term itself indicates, “children’s literature” is defined by its audience — it’sforchildren. It thus a literature for an audience whose tastes, reading ability, socio-economic status, hobbies, health, culture, interests, gender, home life, and race varies widely. Children’s literature is literature for an unknowable, unquantifiable group. The very term “children’s literature” is a problem. Only someone who has never thought about children or what they read could argue that children’s literature does not merit serious consideration.
- Children’s literature has aesthetic value. Good children’s books are literature. Good picture books are portable art galleries. If we don’t take children’s literature seriously, then we diminish an entire art form and those who read it. We also prevent ourselves from being able to distinguish quality works from inferior ones — thus neglecting our responsibilities outlined in no. 2, above. This is not to suggest that we can or should all agree on what is a great children’s book. We can’t and we shouldn’t. What we can and should do is care about what makes children’s books bad or good, average or classic, banal or beautiful.
He goes on and it’s worth reading it all.
Library at Westbrook Station, Queensland, ca. 1898
Rules my Grandma’s Psychiatrist gave her in 56’
- Get some cheap dishes and break them when you get upset.
- Learn how to say “NO” and don’t feel guilty about it
- Buy something frivolous for yourself once in awhile, like a new hat.
- Never again do anything you don’t want to do.
(Source: crystalground, via fashinpirate)
In honor of Children’s Book Week, here’s a photo of an awesome kid.
(Source: unapproachableblackchicks, via librarylinknj)
Throughout An Almanack for the Year of our Lord 1657 by S. B. (1657). Original from Indiana University. Digitized August 9, 2011.
A catcall is entirely about reminding you that you are not yours. The purity myth is entirely about reminding you that you are not yours. The fetishization of female purity in a world where catcalls are an acceptable form of communication telegraphs one thing very clearly:
“Women, stop sexualizing yourselves—that’s our job, and you’re taking all the fun out of it.”
The sexualization of women is only appealing if it’s nonconsensual. Otherwise it’s “sluttiness,” and sluttiness is agency and agency is threatening.
“Female ‘Purity’ is Bullshit”, by Lindy West (at jezebel.com)
I FUCKING LOVE LINDY WEST. SHE’S FROM SEATTLE AND SHE’S DA BEST.
(Source: fictional-clue, via greatish)
"Historians know how to research and we like to interact with people. Okay, so most of the people we interact with are long since dead, but we seek them out anyway in the papers and works they left behind. We seek them out because we want them to help us answer questions we have about the topics, periods, people, thoughts, and cultures we study. We receive their help when we read, interrogate, and contextualize the papers and possessions they left behind. This one-sided engagement allows us to better understand and connect with our historical people. Networking with the living is not so dissimilar."
Liz Covart, How to Network (via greatish)
First trailer for Arrested Development - Season 4!
Oh my god.
(Source: timetoputonashow, via denmark)