A Manifesto for Children’s Literature; or, Reading Harold as a Teenager

Those of us who read, create, study, or teach children’s literature sometimes face skepticism from other alleged adults.  Why would adults take children’s books seriously?  Shouldn’t adults be reading adult books? There are many responses to these questions: Children’s books are the most important books we read because they’re potentially the most influential books we…

Little Rebels, Little Conservatives, and Occupy Wall Street

The headline reads “Occupying children’s minds: ‘Radical children’s literature at Wall Street protests.’”  Featured prominently is Julia Mickenberg’s and my Tales for Little Rebels.  After reading the piece (though, not, I suspect, the book itself), one commenter, writing under the name of “forcerecon2,” worrries that Tales for Little Rebels represents “the indoctrination of our children.”  Coming from the left but…

Children’s Books by Adult Authors

The title of this post is deliberately silly.  Children’s books are written (and edited and marketed and agented, etc.) by alleged grown-ups, and so — as Perry Nodelman points out — there is always a “hidden adult” in children’s literature.  This is one of the central paradoxes of a literature defined primarily by its audience….