04 December 2006

"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child"

This quotation, from Mary Ellen Chase in 1952, is as true now as then. Books are one of the essential ingredients for growing an imaginative, communicative, interesting, interactive child.

New Zealand has a great crop of children's books published each year. I'd like to share with you some of the books I'm reading, the good, the bad, the interesting, the indifferent, the irresistible and educational. I welcome your opinions in return and look forward to discussing books for kids with you.

We all have different perspectives and opinions on what is entertaining, acceptable or enjoyable in a book. Some object to rudeness (much loved and laughed at by children but loathed by their adults), swearing (ignored by teens and frowned on by their parents), and computer-generated design (the appeal of Manga-style features passes many an adult by). But we need to look at books for kids from the children's point of view, get beyond our preconceived ideas about what we like ourselves and try to see from the child's perspective. That said, the opinions here will be mine - and those of anyone who cares to comment - and not meant to be the final word on the quality (or otherwise) of any book discussed.

I love books, all sorts - the serious, the funny, the sad, the quirky, picture books, novels, with or without words, poetry, information, comics - if it's on paper between covers I'll give it a go. It's an adventure for the adults who care to explore them, and for the kids the books were created for.


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