Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kiddie Lit

"You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

In the post "On Words " a couple of days ago, I quoted a passage from Through the Looking Glass. Sharkbytes and Lin commented on the power of kidlit when written as though children had intelligence. (This is not what they said, but I infer that that was at the root of their comments.) Vee's comment suggested that the power had impinged itself upon her cognizance to the extent that her memory bank contained some of Carroll's verses. All of which got me to reflecting on the children's literature which has made a lasting impression on me. Before I say something really stupid, let me clarify that much literature which may have been written with children in mind is not only apt for the child, but has layers of deeper meaning.

Well, this makes nothing more than good sense. For if one is to learn, s/he must be pushed beyond the limits of current knowledge, else nothing new is gained. Hence, we have that many children's books are a wealth of knowledge, information, conceptualizations which may indeed push many adults to new levels of understanding. But one has to read, and perhaps think, activities which seem to be too nearly lost to this day and age.

I've no intent to turn this into a diatribe. But if only young people, all people, would read!

So, back to the opening quote. I responded to the commenters that I have held certain books to be dear to me, and included among them is Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. It is a fantastic (word used in its true meaning) story, and a veritable mine of little nuggets of wisdom.

Breaking news and commentary.
Jean and Scott Adam, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle were all killed by Somali pirates.
It's too late to do what should have been done; and nothing can bring them back. But is it not about time to put an end to this sort of thing? Can we not deal with it? Do we lack the will to do so?


Anonymous said...

I read A Wrinkle in Time (and a whole bunch of other books) to my sons. In this age of instant-gratification video games, it was not easy to build an interest in reading in them. It caught in my older son, but not in my younger.

Sharkbytes said...

For some reason L'Engle never really grabbed me. I know a lot of people really love her books.

It's really something about the two couples. Four more modern martyrs.

vanilla said...

Jim, reading with your kids: good for you. We have to make the effort.

Shark, oddly, this book I reference is the only one that "grabbed" me.

Life is uncertain for us all, but this incident seems to be such an unnecessary waste of human life.

Vee said...

I, too, grew up loving literature. Think I can thank my mom for that!

So sad about the couples killed by pirates. Isn't it strange that everyone just lets these pirates roam the seas and do their ugly deeds? You would think no one in this world has the power to stop what is going on. Well, maybe it is courage they lack rather than power.

Vee said...

I forgot to mention in my previous comment that on the first day of Professor Pitt's "Kiddie Lit" class at Indiana U., she informed us that anyone she heard saying Kiddie Lit would receive a grade of "F" for the semester. Good behavior modification tactic!

vanilla said...

Vee, desired result achieved, I'm sure.