Monday, July 13, 2009

Children's Lit

One of the joys of having children is that I have a real reason for reading children's literature.

I went through a phase in university where I kept buying fairy tales. Not the Disney versions. The real grim "Grimm" versions and Andrew Lang's compilations. I loved them, and then I moved on to some beautifully illustrated versions. The art of Arthur Rackham is great.

I moved on to picture books a bit and some classics like Alice in Wonderland. Then I stopped buying the books and waited until I had kids because maybe they wouldn't like what I liked. Maybe they wouldn't even like books, heaven forbid!

This is what the kids' bookshelf looks like in our living room.

Does it look like they don't like to read? Luckily it's behind a closed door because I can't stand to look at it like this. I'm almost as much at fault because I clean the coffee table by shoving all the books in here, but I do tidy it up once in a while too. As quickly as I clean them up, they pull them out again or start throwing new ones in. I can't keep up. I just close the doors. Much easier.

These are the books above Laura's bed. They've introduced me to new authors and books that are actually quite enjoyable. They are not all created equally though.

Junie B. Jones: I think she's laugh-out-loud funny (I don't like that phrase generally but it applies here). I think I've read them all and she never disappoints. For twenty minutes, I can sit alone on the couch at night and laugh at her foolishness. She's a bit like Ramona the Pest, with a new-millenium shorter attention span, faster pace and poor language. But very funny.

Geronimo Stilton: Beth and Laura have both loved him. He's a mouse editor and solves crimes. He's annoying to me, but it's one of the series that got Laura to start enjoying reading on her own so I'll love him for that alone.

Dear Dumb Diary and many others of that ilk: Yuck. They are about as intelligent as their titles sound.

Little House on the Prairie: I've tried to get them into the Narnia books, Beverly Cleary, and some other classics, but this is the only series they've really gotten into. A small victory on my part, but I'll take what I can get. Beth has also read a lot of Nancy Drew. She's read a lot of lots of things. She can't get enough of books.

And then there's this guy.

Why? Why does the fascination never die? Why do pre-teen kids like to read about teenagers and dating and clothing obsessions? I did too. These comics probably are more to blame for poor body image than Barbie ever has been.

The girls (including Alice) have been reading and reading Archie comics for a year now and can't get enough of the Riverdale gang. They read them until they fall apart and then they beg for more.

Have you heard the latest rumour? In August, in their 600th issue, Archie is going to propose to Veronica. I thought better of him, but there's no telling whether Veronica accepts. I hope she thinks she's too good for him and he can finally move on with Betty, the good and loyal friend.

I may actually buy that issue brand new if I can get a copy.


Janet said...

I can relate! We have a whole shelf that looks like your living room cupboard. (its behind the door in Suzy's room) Our library has many of the Beverly Cleary books on CD and we listen to them and many others on long road trips. Marie sounds a bit like Beth - she always is reading.

Rosa said...

I just bought the entire Narnia chornicles in one book on sale at Save On.
I love kids books!

Yvon said...

Junie B Jones is an absolute brat!!!!

Tamara Jansen said...

I used to have that same book pile when the kids were young but only one of them turned out to be a reader. I gave in finally and bought those Archie comic books, hoping their reading would improve. They STILL love an Archie comic :)