Monday, September 23, 2013

Childlike, not childish

Aaron Earle believes that good children's books never lose their value:
The books that you read as a child – those that touch you and shape your perspective on life – are often the best you will ever read. And not simply for the sake of nostalgia.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “a book worth reading only in childhood is not worth reading even then.” The reverse is obviously true. A book worth reading as a child is one whose worth stretches into adulthood.

So how do we write in such a way that captures the essence of what makes great children's literature great no matter the age of our audience? The answer is not in writing childish – those are the books that aren't worth reading as a child.

Instead, we should write childlike. ....
And he proceeds to suggest three ways, the first of which is "Speak to, not down." More.

The perhaps controversial book on the right was my choice as an illustration, primarily for "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi."