Monday, September 26, 2011

after A Series of Unfortunate Absences

I like children's books.

Admittedly, I can't always resist the temptation to skip the long, silly, rhyming names of characters in easy-reader picture books when I read them out loud for the young'uns. Children's novels, though, or stories, or really anything with a solid plot -- they're seriously underrated.

Reviewers tend to treat them with a slightly condescending tone. I realize that children, despite our desperate attempts to romanticize childhood and wholeheartedly accept their underdeveloped brains as beacons of truth in the world while simultaneously ignoring the vast majority of what they have to say, have not lived as widely as adults and thus need slightly easier, simpler stories. This is not a shameful fact, nor a reason for condescension.

Have you realized how funny a lot of kids' books are? And morbid and politically incorrect half the time, as well. Anyone who has read anything by Roald Dahl or Lemony Snicket can attest to that. I think that children's books are some of the best for those who want to love reading for entertainment again. Removed, to some degree, is the temptation to analyze every detail, every theme. Simply relax and enjoy the dry wit, the engaging characters, the intriguing plot, everything that made you love reading before you got smart.

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