Friday, October 10, 2003

"Kids were thought to be unable to separate the mildly gross from the debauched––to my mind, a horribly patronizing attitude. My children adored Roald Dahl, and they had no problem separating out his diet of squashed worm sandwiches from their real dinner. Fortunately, the socially correct tourniquet around kids' books seems to be easing, but a Big Brother has arrived on the scene. One that says, "We mustn't frighten the children with long words and complexity." It's curious to note that a first-time submission of Alice In Wonderland would probably be passed over by the majority of present-day children's publishers, and Lewis Carroll would be piling up little rejection slips. It really shouldn’t be a matter of choosing between Grimm and bland, but as long as we underestimate our children as much as we overstimulate ourselves, we will reap the inevitably complacent rewards.

I believe it's absolutely correct to protect the children from adult excesses, but my four kids have taught me a great deal about this world and, in doing so, have helped me remember what I enjoyed as a child. They've been my guide and I've gained more from watching them paint and draw than I ever learned at art college. Children are smart, and they understand fantasy far better than we. They know farting crocodiles are more pleasing than politically correct parrots." – Nick Bantock, THE ARTFUL DODGER; p. 44

* * *

This is but one of the wonderful gems that Mr. Bantock wrote in his wonderful biography. There are also other authors who are calling attention to the need to return to innocence in a world that's getting more and more skeptical and blase with each passing day.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?