New York Times Essay Discusses the Impact of Children's Book Giants Sendak, Silverstein, and Geisel
In the essay titled "The Children's Authors Who Broke the Rules," Children's book editor Pamela Paul writes how Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, and Theodor Geisel challenged the established ideas of what a children’s book should be. Here is an excerpt:
"Once upon a more staid time, the purpose of children’s books was to model good behavior. They were meant to edify and to encourage young readers to be what parents wanted them to be, and the children in their pages were well behaved, properly attired and devoid of tears. Children’s literature was not supposed to shine a light on the way children actually were, or delight in the slovenly, self-interested and disobedient side of their natures.
Seuss, Sendak and Silverstein ignored these rules. They brought a shock of subversion to the genre — defying the notion that children’s books shouldn’t be scary, silly or sophisticated. Rather than reprimand the wayward listener, their books encouraged bad (or perhaps just human) behavior."
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ALSO in The New York Times!
Check out Jerry Griswold's review of The Flint Heart titled "What the Zabog Knew." The Flint Heart is a retelling of the British fantasy by Eden Phillpotts, abridged by Katherine and John Paterson, illustrated by John Rocco, and published by Candlewick Press. Katherine Paterson is the current National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and the author of Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved, both winners of the Newbery Medal. She is also a vice president of the board of directors of the NCBLA.
And be sure to read the review of Brian Selznick's book for young adults--Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures--in the review "A Deaf Boy's New York Quest." Brian Selznick is the creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a Caldecott Medal winner, and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins (both Scholastic), a Caldecott Honor Book. He is also a contributor to Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.