03 March 2010

Read a Child's Book Now and Then

For those out there who think they are too sophisticated to read kid-lit, you may just find a surprise or two in the short stacks.

Some of my favorite must-reads:
Anything by Sandra Boynton, but especially the music and book sets. Once, when I worked in a fairly pretentious bookstore, we sneaked Grunt: Pigorian Chant onto the sound system. Of course,to get the humor, you have to be following along in the book. We were FOFL, as they say nowadays. And the music is very well done.

Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends. I confess: I have only read the kids books. But the sweet, sassy and slightly seditious poetry dares you to at least raspberry the established order. Come on. You know you want to.

Lately, I read The City of Ember. The movie was nice, but if you want to imagine the edgy fear of lights going out in a city rimmed by the dark unknown, you really have to have the scenario inside your reader-brain. You readers know what I'm talking about.

There are lots more. Sometimes, adult reading becomes predictable in its relentless pounding adult-ness. Give yourself permission to go back to reading books that are meant to instill values, strengthen social commitment, teach cooperation, tolerance and love. We nurture our children on the values we care about. Why, then, do we allow ourselves to believe that we are not "grown-ups" unless we fill our heads with grinding bleakness?

Was I ranting? I think I'll go find a kids book now and lighten up.

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