Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Children’s Literature: It's Definitely Not Just For Kids
I am convinced that the best literature is truly “ageless,” not merely in its having a staying power throughout numerous generations of readers but also in being able to impact readers of all ages.
Thus, gems like Winnie the Pooh, Kidnapped, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Iliad, Kon-Tiki, Peter Pan, Beau Geste, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” A Christmas Carol, the stories about Sherlock Holmes, Witness for the Prosecution, and Wind in the Willows were all discoveries of my childhood -- but my appreciation of their respective strengths is greater than ever before.
Yes, it takes more life experience as well as stronger skills in patience, vocabulary, literary criticism, etc. to appreciate the likes of Shakespeare, Solzhenitsyn or Tom Wolfe. But even such tremendous “adult reads” should never push aside those works of quality literature which truly transcend age.
So, let’s give careful attention to The Brothers Karamazov but make sure we always have room for The Brothers Grimm as well.
After all, great children’s literature is just too great to be left...well, to children.