The Grown-Up Joys of Reading Children’s Books – WSJ Essay

9 Aug

After reading the title of this article, “The Grown-Up Joys of Reading Children’s Books” I was excited to see what the author had to say, specifically in regards to what I would expect to be addressed, the diversity of children’s literature in the 21st century and how relatable it can be to both children and adults. Needless to say, that’s not at all what this essay is about, in fact the children’s titles referenced are classic titles that are not new by any stretch of the imagination – Goodnight MoonBedtime for FrancesThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The House at Pooh Corner.

I enjoyed how the author compared his feelings of the book as a child to his feelings about the book as an adult now sharing them with his own children, but expected to see references of more modern classics or popular titles that are so popular in this time period. Not to say that classic titles are “bad,” but to how newer titles can have just as lasting as an impression – authors like Kate DiCamillo, Christian Robinson, Peter H. Reynolds and Pam Muñoz Ryan and many of these authors and titles bring forward diveristy, tough topics and conversation starters that were never addressed in books published 50+ years ago. Considering the article starts with, “We are living through an extended golden age for children’s books…” I was just hoping for more of a modern look at children’s literature, rather than addressing the same authors and titles that have been discussed before.

The author of the essay, Bruce Handy, is publishing a book on the topic of reading children’s books as an adult entitled Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult, published on August 15, 2017 by Simon & Schuster. I’m curious to see if he addresses diversity and more recent literature or if the whole book is focused on classic children’s literature alone.

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