Archive for the ‘Children’s Literature’ Category

“WHAT A CHILDREN’S LITERATURE CLASS TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE”: ANGELA FRASER

THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER (IMAGE VIA KLRN)

Angela Fraser writes:

After taking a course in children’s literature this past semester, I realized that there are a lot of life lessons packed within the details of each story and the lives of the characters, many of which you hardly pick up on a kid.

As a child, when someone is reading you these books, the idea is that their lessons subtly find their way into your subconscious, that if you hear enough stories about people doing the right thing, the author will have, in a move straight out of “Inception,” taught you a moral lesson by allowing you to think that you realized it yourself. As a result, the literature that society prescribes for its children is incredibly valuable, as it teaches them the mores of a culture, from its heuristics and systems of justice, down to how you should treat your friends and even yourself.

What’s funny, though, is that a really powerful children’s book can teach even the adults reading it a lesson. Sometimes, the lesson comes from realizing just how layered with subtext these seemingly innocuous stories are—I mean, can we talk about the implications of the labor disparity between Aesop’s ant and grasshopper?

But sometimes, the value of re-reading these stories as adults comes from hearing a simple message with fresh ears. You “know” that you should work hard, treat others fairly and be true to yourself, but sometimes it helps to hear it, baldly, from a book made for children. And in my literature class, I did, dozens of times over. So, below is a condensed list of the obvious, yet not-so-obvious lessons I learned from studying novels written for children.

Lauren Child: New Children’s Laureate worried about equality in books

Lauren Child said children’s books were seen as “a poor relation” to adult literature

Boys don’t like reading books that have girls as the main characters – and that “makes it harder for girls to be equal”, says the new Children’s Laureate Lauren Child.

Child, who wrote the Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean series, was speaking after her appointment was announced in Hull.

She is the 10th person to be the official champion of children’s books.

Child will hold the title for two years and takes over from Chris Riddell.

Helen Dunmore, UK poet, novelist and children’s writer, dies at 64

Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore, the UK poet, novelist and children’s writer, has died aged 64.

Dying children’s author writes dating profile for husband

Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Amy Krouse Rosenthal

An author dying of ovarian cancer has written a dating profile of her husband so he can find “another love story”.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal lists his best qualities and says she hopes “the right person reads this [and] finds Jason”.

“I have never been on Tinder, Bumble or eHarmony,” she writes in the New York Times.

“But I’m going to create a general profile for Jason right here, based on my experience of co-existing in the same house with him for, like, 9,490 days.”

Amy is known for writing books for children, as well as memoirs about her own family and life.

She and Jason have been together for almost three decades and have grown-up children.

Fiance of Helen Bailey, children’s author, found guilty of murder

Helen Bailey, whose body was found alongside that of her pet Dachshund Boris, wrote the Electra Brown series of books

Helen Bailey, whose body was found alongside that of her pet Dachshund Boris, wrote the Electra Brown series of books

The fiance of a children’s author who drugged and suffocated her before throwing her body in a hidden cesspit has been found guilty of murder.

Ian Stewart, 56, had denied murdering Helen Bailey at their home in Royston, Hertfordshire, in order to get his hands on her near-£4m fortune.

He was convicted at St Albans Crown Court following a seven-week trial.

Police say they will look again at the death of Stewart’s wife Diane in 2010 following the verdict.

Mrs Stewart died after having an epileptic seizure in the garden of the family home in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. An inquest was held but police will now re-examine the case.