Ma dernière trouvaille est un blog américain, baptisé Books & other thoughts. Un blog où j'aime beaucoup me balader car, en plus de trouver des tas de lecture en commun avec l'auteur de ce blog, j'aime ses billets où elle parle de son obsession dévorante pour la lecture, de son goût des livres pour la jeunesse, de la légitimité d'en parler alors que nous sommes de (charmantes) vieilles peaux plus du tout concernées par les sujets abordés dans ces lectures (hihihi), et j'en passe. En bref, j'aime beaucoup. C'est l'une de mes nouvelles adresses fétiches.
The validity of reviewing books for children
Have you ever wondered about the fact that children's books are reviewed by adults, who are not the intended audience for them? How much is my - or any adult's - opinion about a children's book worth, anyway?
I have often felt that there are certain picture books that seem to be written by adults for the parents or grandparents or teachers who buy the books, and not necessarily for the children themselves.
I guess what makes me really wonder about this whole issue is when I go back to re-read a book that was one of my absolute favorites when I was a child, and it just doesn't hold up. I'm sure had an adult reviewed one of those re-read disappointments, it would have been given a poor review. Maybe it was predictable, or the characterization wasn't great, or the dialog not exactly sparkling. But as a child, that book rocked my world.
I suppose we review children's books because we love them, even as adults. I know I do. And I guess we should keep in mind that children often approach books from a different perspective and have sensibilities that can be very different from adults'.
I don't get that. Admittedly, I read obsessively; even so, it befuddles me that so many people say to me (often after hearing I'm a librarian, or that I'm a writer), "I love books, but I just don't have time to read." They sigh wistfully, as though reading involved taking several days off from work and making complicated childcare arrangements. Really, it's just not that hard!
Reading, for me, is and always has been a way of life. I always have a book with me (two if I'm toward the end of one, just to avoid that terrible feeling of book panic), and when the opportunity presents itself, I read. I read in waiting rooms, on buses, in the kiss-and-ride line at my children's school, during meals (if I'm alone), you name it.
Maybe people just don't find the right books for themselves. I give a book maybe 50 pages, and if we haven't clicked by then, I'm finished. There are too many great books out there for me to waste my time struggling through one I can't get into. When I'm in the middle of a good book, I can actually carry on conversations with other people (although I have no idea I'm doing this at the time) and tune out just about anything. If it's a good book, I'm in that world, and that's that. Maybe these wistful non-readers haven't had the chance to find the books that really grab them. They have struggled with too many dull books and have just given up.
Why don't more adults read children's books?
(...) These books are great! Not all of them, of course -- just like the ones in the adult sections aren't all great, either. But I can honestly say that I am certain that, if I were to pick up a book at random from adult fiction and a book at random from children's or young adult fiction, I'd almost certainly enjoy the kids' book more.
Is it that people are embarrassed? That it doesn't occur to them to see if there's anything interesting in that section for them? Even the Harry Potter phenomenon doesn't seem to have transferred to other books outside that series. Why is that?
Doesn't anybody ever check in the children's section just to see if there's anything new by their old favorite authors?
So the next time you feel guilty about spending too much time behind the pages of a book...
...you can make yourself feel better - even virtuous and superior - by going to this site and reading the article about how great reading is for you! It says things like: "Being a bookworm doesn’t just make you smart. It makes you mentally tough. It builds so much cognitive reserve that bookworms’ brains may be bolstered against bad things like pollution and toxins."
I just love it when science validates my reading addiction.