When Niece #1 and Nephew were small we always gave books as presents which they loved to have read to them but as they got older, bedtime stories were no longer on the agenda and they certainly weren't going to choose to read a book for themselves, we, largely, stopped buying them unless it was a football related book for Nephew and even then games consoles and the computer soon took over meaning buying books was a total waste of money. Such a shame as we would love for them both to know the joy of reading. Thankfully Niece #2 still enjoys her books and is at that age when some of them also appeal to me - I've just borrowed one of her JACQUELINE WILSON books, HETTY FEATHER, which I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing.
Christmas is a great time for children's books and I've enjoyed reading so many wonderful blog posts on the subject, thank you. Also interesting is the television adaptations of so many stories - on Christmas Eve we had the recent 2005 film version of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and then on Christmas Day itself we had a wonderful adaptation of one of my favourite books, THE GRUFFALO by JULIA DONALDSON, which brings me to today's post which is about children's books/authors in the newspapers.
Firstly comes this lovely 'interview', Donaldson On Donaldson.
I think that perhaps my favourite bit of The Gruffalo are the roasted fox, scrambled snake and owl ice-cream. Originally the mouse was just going to say "I'm going to have lunch with a gruffalo", and the predators were going to say "Oh help" and run off. Then Jerry (my son) said to me "But they're all a bit stupid because they could quickly eat the mouse" so I thought, yes, the mouse needs to say he's going to have lunch now, here and that the gruffalo's favourite food is them. Then I thought that's a nice bit of scope for a little joke.
The gruffalo wasn't necessarily going to look like that. But the mouse has got to describe different bits of him, so obviously if you're in a rhyming metre they've got to rhyme and scan. If ears had rhymed with something he might have had some funny ears, or horns, or a tail that was odd in some way. You have to think of lots of different ways of saying it and see what rhymes. But what rhymes is just one little part of it.
- the Guardian.
But of course it isn't only books by 'new' authors that are popular, there is a growing trend towards the authors that I (perhaps you) read as children.
Take ENID BLYTON for example. One recent article in the press had a very interesting article claiming she had been banned by the BBC for almost 30 years (click HERE to view story) whilst a second article brought us this news .....
The old girl's done it again! She has emerged as one of the top 10 best selling authors of the decade, as defined by sales on Amazon.
Her continuing popularity 40 years after her death only goes to prove that there is nothing on earth so unremittingly reactionary as a new child reader.
- An edited version of an article by Lucy Mangan, reporting in the Guardian.
And also making it into the news is this list of the Top 10 Child Narrators In Literature at least according to JM of the Guardian. (* Indicates it is a novel I have read.)
10. The Story of Tracy Beaker - Jacqueline Wilson. *
09. Hideous Kinky - Esther Freud. (Judging by the title, surely not a book FOR children.)
08. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson. *
07. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain. *
06. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer.
05. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time - Mark Haddon. *
04. Now We Are Six - AA Milne. *
03. Songs Of Innocence - William Blake.
02. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha - Roddy Doyle.
01. Down With Skool - Geofffrey Willans.
Agree or disagree with the list, which books narrated by children would you include?