Monday, April 23, 2007

In Case You Missed It:
Joanna Rudge Long Book Review in
Last Sunday's New York Times Book Review

I am still thinking, a week later, about Joanna Rudge Long's book review in the April 15, 2007 New York Times Book Review, and not because of the books she reviewed.

As a literacy advocate I constantly encounter parents and teachers looking for great books for kids, and the majority of parents and teachers I work with have very little knowledge of children's books, or of the history of children's literature. And these parents and teachers are not only from our neediest neighborhoods and schools but are also from middle class communities where the vast majority of adults are college educated.

In a few paragraphs Joanna Rudge Long introduced quality new books for children, giving those books a context historically, educating the reader about children's literature. She posed questions that all of us who care about children should ponder, especially young parents:

Do children still know how to play?
If imagination transforms, how do we nurture imagination?
What kind of story draws children back again and again, serving as a magical catalyst to imaginative play and thought?

And who can resist a review that quotes Dylan Thomas?

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