Back at uni and I’m a week in and I am bogged down in research … yet loving it. Immensely. Thinking about a few things after spending all day reading swags of academic texts …
They are the necessary games children must conjure up to combat an awful fact of childhood: the fact of their vulnerability to fear, anger, hate, frustration–all the emotions that are an ordinary part of their lives and that they can perceive only as ungovernable and dangerous forces. To master these forces, children turn to fantasy: that imagined world where disturbing emotional situations are solved to their satisfaction. through fantasy, Max, the hero of my book, discharges his anger against his mother, and returns to the real world sleepy, hungry, and at peace with himself.” …it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things.
“Kiddiebookland is where we live… It’s next to Neverneverville and Peterpanburg. It’s that awful place that we’ve been squeezed into because we’re children’s book illustrators or children’s book writer. Yes, we are! But isn’t our work meant for everybody?
How infuriating and insulting when serious work is considered only a trifle for the nursery. When you’ve worked a year on a book, when you’ve put your life into it, you expect the point of view of the professionals–editors, teachers, librarians–to be somewhat larger, more expansive… I think they should try to learn what picture books are all about. There is some fine mystery in this difficult form, a mystery that is the artist’s business. What I’m objecting to is that picture books are judged from a particular pedantic point of view vis-a-vis their relation to children–and I insistthat a picturebook is much more”
I have that book.
And I have loved it since I was a child.
I still read it.
When did we stop allowing our imagination to flourish? Why is it shameful for an adult to enjoy a picture book? Why must reading a picturebook be automatically referred to as a ‘child’s activity’?
Questions. lots of them.
To be continued ….