Shelly made some interesting and valid comments on last Sunday’s Reading Roundup. They spawned a number of seemingly random thoughts for me.
How does reading a kids’ book from a parents’ perspective differ from reading it merely as an adult? A writing friend once urged me to write as much as possible before having kids because she found her writing changed dramatically after she became a parent. She couldn’t or wouldn’t explain to my satisfaction how her writing changed, but I have no doubt that it did. So how does being a parent change the way an adult reads kidlit? And can you ever put the parent in you in the closet while you read?
I don’t have any studies to back this up, but there seems to be a growing gap between MG and YA literature. MG is getting younger and more “innocent,” if you will, while YA is getting older and edgier. The poor 12 – to 14-year-olds are comparatively hard-pressed for appropriate reading material. I tend to think the 10 to 14s are my ideal age group.
I don’t know why I’m reading so much YA these days.
You know how Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a perennially popular graduation-gift? Why-oh-why aren’t there more picture books published for people outside the 2-7 age range?! More sophisticated stories and art than those pubbed for 2-7s, age-appropriate. Stories and art go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults all like stories and art; why not let us enjoy them together?
Frankly, I think it’s discrimination. Can we sue publishers for not producing picture books for Everyone?
And while we’re at it, I’d like to see–no, let’s be honest, I’d like to create–an art show that is a story. Visitors would walk through halls of giant illustrations/sets, see related performances, and hear the story told. Heck, maybe they’d even participate in it. Something like a cross between a natural history museum and a picture book with a touch of theater and music thrown in.
I wonder if that is a sort of personal backlash against the rise of digital media.
On the other hand, I’m looking forward to seeing Where the Wild Things Are in the theater. I love, love, love that the story was “aged-up.” I really hope the script is well-written.
It’s not unlike how The Lion King was transformed for the theater. No one would say that show’s just for kids.
Well, picture books shouldn’t be just for kids, either.