Sunday, January 20, 2008

January 2008 Carnival of Children's Literature

The first children's book carnival of 2008 is here! Visit Wizards Wireless for the January Carnival of Children's Literature: Book Awards. There are a lot of good things to read, but what I zeroed in upon immediately was Lisa Chellman's love/hate relationship with the Newbery awards. Chellman writes:

I’m also bothered by school assignments that send children to the library specifically for Newbery and Caldecott winners. Of course I want children to appreciate great literature along with whatever else they read. But teaching children that these winners are “the best” is a double-edged sword. Maybe they’ll gain appreciation for the craft of writing and illustration. Or maybe, when they struggle through one of the more difficult winners, they’ll wonder why they hate the “best” books so much. Maybe, they wonder, it’s because they’re bad readers. Maybe it's because they don't understand what makes a good book. Or maybe it's because adults just don't get it.

Inside my almost 36-year-old brain are vivid memories of what it was like to be a child at different ages. I know what I enjoyed reading, and I appreciated it when adults offered books that stretched me beyond my comfort level, but I resented it when adults said things to the effect of, "If you don't see any value in this book, then you need to examine what is wrong with your thinking." Wiser adults would have said, "You're not ready for this book at this time. Put it away and try it again later."

4 comments:

Lone Star Ma said...

Good point. I struggle a bit to manage my responses to the LSG's reading, as she has gone a bit backwards. Always a voracious reader, she is so into comics now that she doesn't want to read 'real" books much (more than the average kid, still, but not like she used to). I don't object to comic-reading, but I object to her not reading other books. Sigh.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

LSM: I wonder if reading comics is the LSG's way of unwinding after al of her schoolwork. While I never got into comics, I can certainly understand why they would be a welcome antidote to serious reading. What comics does she read, by the way?

Lone Star Ma said...

I can understand that, too, but she's a bit fanatical, as well (um, more than a bit). She reads Marvel, of course, and reads most of it (she can talk for hours about all the characters and universes), but mainly loves the teen series..Runaways, Exiles, Spider-Girl. I just don't want her reading level to devolve. I have always read a lot of brain candy myself, but one must keep up with the harder stuff, too, to be ready for all those college texts.

Wizards Wireless @ said...

Alkelda-
Thanks for the link to the January carnival! I was very intrigued by Lisa's post about the Newbery too.
-Susan