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Reading Children’s Books As a Grownup

May 20, 2009

I just started reading a new book blog, called The Diamond In the Window. It’s by a mother of two daughters, who talks about what they’re reading, what’s going on in the world of children’s literature more generally, and life as a reader.  Every time I stop by, I want to flood her comments with cheers and praise and book recommendations, because she gets so many things right, and expresses them so beautifully.

It’s been a bit tricky choosing what books to write about for this blog. Because the truth is, children’s books are for…children. I may like what I like and pride myself on a coolly measuring eye in assessing whether a book is “good,” but what matters more, I think, is whether a book is loved. Only connect, right? And connection isn’t something that takes well to being mediated.
I suppose what I am trying to do is remind myself of being a child reader. This will, I hope, allow me to watch calmly as people devour the Berenstain Bears, and act unconcerned when they select the Mary Kate and Ashley mystery series at the library (sob!). I hope to remind myself that for every classy British children’s book I read, I read an equally edifying piece of trash (and still do!), and the moment that books become prescribed and thus, medicinal, is the moment I want out.

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