Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Adulthood - why go there?

Yesterday the publisher unexpectedly sent through roughs for the picture book I have coming out with them next year. I am rather in love with how beautiful they are (and these are just the roughs!). And I now cannot wait for this book to be out. I would like to know how people I have never met get inside my head and take the ideas there and breath a layer of visual magic on them.  This is how we like our surprises to go :)

I am also doing some prep work on a new project. This is because I have other more important things to be doing. You know how it goes. There is interest in the new project though so it too will become important. But I should finish up my other jobs first.

If you are regular readers you will know I am a regular bleater on the subject of the adult literary/children's literature divide. It is a sore subject with me and one which I doubt will ever resolve to my satisfaction. But I like to see folk fighting the good fight, putting up sensible arguments and this is very well done here by Philip Nel.  I thought this was good - 3) 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. Or just rude?

And it astounds me how adults forget their own childhood so readily. Not just the interest in the world around them they felt as children, all the facts and details and mechanics of it all to be soaked up, and their striving to wrestle themselves into maturity, but the desire they felt for acknowledgement, understanding and legitimacy in the eyes of the adults who surrounded them. Children are complex, inquiring, and full of potential and the adults who understand this work to provide literature which stimulates and extends this potential. Literature that acknowledges them, asks the big questions, challenges them and treats them as the intelligent, amazing folk that they are. I wish folk would stop trivializing material written for children and the people who produce it - its disrespectful. Bleat over and out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Melinda, I just posted my review of A Winter's Day on my blog, in which I touch on the subject of child's interpretations vs adult interpretations, only to open up my reader and find this post. The more I read aloud to my 10 year old the more I have to acknowledge that there is a unique quality to his perception of the world which is distinctly related to being a child, but is not childlike, not in the condescending manner of the term anyway. I am constantly surprised by what gets him thinking; it's not always the things that I expect.