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Author Topic: Kid Lit
Granola Girl
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posted 11 June 2005 05:35 AM      Profile for Granola Girl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Inspired by the opening of the Roald Dahl Museum, here's a list of my all time favourite kids books ever - books I loved as a child, discovered that I loved as an adult or still love reading to little ones of all ages.

-Harry Potter (of course!)
-Anything by Roald Dahl but especially The Twits and Revolting Rhymes.
-The Little Prince
-The Sword in the Stone
-I Love You Forever (by Robert Munsch - makes me weep every time, that one)
-Alice in Wonderland
- The Happy Prince & The Friendly Giant (Oscar Wilde)
- The Little Match Girl
- A Christmas Carol


From: East Van | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 11 June 2005 05:50 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I re-read Roald Dahl's "The Witches" just recently, and it was just superb. The man really was a treasure.

For authors I read and enjoyed as a kid, Spike Milligan is up there; many of his stories and rhymes are still there in my mind, fresh as if I put them there yesterday. "String is an important thing...."

I still enjoy a bit of kids' lit from time to time. Harry Potter is really quite engaging, I think, and I'm eagerly awaiting the new one in a month or so. So much writing for children is a good deal more complex, more layered and textured than it first appears.


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kuri
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posted 11 June 2005 05:51 AM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know if this counts as kid lit per se, but some of my happiest childhood memories is of reading C.S. Lewis' The Tales of Narnia with my mom and sister before bed.
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Granola Girl
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posted 11 June 2005 06:04 AM      Profile for Granola Girl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
C.S. Lewis! I forgot about him. He definitely counts. He could even be considered a kid lit pioneer. My grubworm discovered him two years ago and has been whipping through the Narnia series like mad.

[ 11 June 2005: Message edited by: Granola Girl ]


From: East Van | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
sub lite
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posted 11 June 2005 06:22 AM      Profile for sub lite   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good topic! Not sure how 'for kids' is defined, but here are some of my favourite books from when I was growing up (well, from EARLIER growing up).
  • Roald Dahl - all his kids stuff, but especially Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Fantastic Mr. Fox (Hmm, I sense a foodie theme here)
  • E.B. White - Charlotte's Web, The Trumpet of the Swan (still on my favourite books of all time list)
  • Madeleine L'Engle - A Ring of Endless Light
  • Hugh Lofting - Doctor Doolittle (series)
  • Zilpha Keatley Snyder - And Condors Danced
  • Susan Cooper - The Dark is Rising (series)
  • Folk tales, fairy tales, and myths from around the world (not necessarily for children, though)
  • The Adventures of the Monkey King
  • Water Margin / Outlaws of the Marsh
Of the above books, my copies of The Trumpet of the Swan, and Outlaws of the Marsh had to be carefully repaired by my parents. Anyone else re-read their books to pieces, either as kids, or even now?

From: Australia via the Canadian Wet Coast | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 11 June 2005 06:35 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, it's a great topic. I have a hard time sometimes distinguishing between kids' books and youth/adult books, but here's a list of my faves among the books I read as a child - except Harry Potter (excuse me while I go check out my bookshelf):

  • The Wrinkle in Time series
  • Nancy Drew
  • The Pooh books
  • Harriet the Spy
  • All Oscar Wilde's fairy tales
  • A Runaway's Diary
  • Watership Down
  • What Do You Say, Dear by Maurice Sendak (my all-time favourite kids' book
  • Harry Potter of course
  • A Child's Garden of Verses
  • The Blackie's Girls' Annuals (old old books on British Girls' School life)
  • All LM Montgomery
  • The Marrow of the World
  • CS Lewis and Lewis Carroll
  • Sandman's Fairy Stories
  • The Rainbow Book of Fairy Tales
  • Charlotte's Web
  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale book
  • The Magic Garden (not The Secret Garden)
  • What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next
  • A Little Princess

[ 11 June 2005: Message edited by: Anchoress ]


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 11 June 2005 07:26 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, nearly forgot Dr Suess! Egad! "The Sleep Book" was my particular favorite... I'm sure my poor parents can still recite whole passages of it by heart.
From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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posted 11 June 2005 08:29 AM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Two faves:

A Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
brebis noire
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posted 11 June 2005 09:00 AM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is a great thread; my kids and I are just getting into books that don't have pictures on every page. Harry Potter is big, as is Charlotte's Web. Every time my 7-yr-old asks 'what does that word mean?', Charlotte explains it to Wilbur.

One of my favourites as a kid, can't remember why exactly, was Watership Down. Anybody else read it?


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Suzette
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posted 11 June 2005 09:13 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I read Watership Down over and over when I was around 8 - 10 years old (I think) but I don't really recall much about it either. I seem to recall there was some Big Journey involved, and some of the characters came to grief. I remember being very emotionally involved in it. I'm reluctant to go back and look, to be honest; I've a suspicion that it's mawkish and sentimental. (But I could be wrong.)
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skdadl
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posted 11 June 2005 09:15 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have often heard of, but have never read, a children's book called Goodnight, Moon.

Anyone know it?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 11 June 2005 11:05 AM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
skdadl, I read Goodnight Moon to my little one and loved it. I found a bit more info for you here.

One of my childhood faves was The Velveteen Rabbit.


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 11 June 2005 12:19 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Guess how much I love you by McBratney
The giving tree
What mommies do best what daddies do best
You are special by Lucados
lets be polite by Hallihan ?
God gave us you
I miss you by Pat Thomas
Mending Peter's heart
The gift of a memory
Promises by Betsy Lewin
A pillow for my mom
The Amazing Hannah
Laughter and Love by Bottke
Girl, you are amazing
Kathy's hats
Sort of forever by Warner
Upside down cake by Carrick
Because I love you by Max Lucado
The Throwaway cat

From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 June 2005 01:24 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Mary Poppins books; my sister and I got them from the library and we liked them so much we decided to copy them out by hand. This notion lasted for a page or two.

Books by Catherine Anthony Clark; The Golden Pine Cone, The Silver People, and others. The first time I realised that books could actually be set in Canada; all the others were British or American. They were good fantasy adventures with native spirits, talking animals, mammoths, etc.

We had the Worldbook Encyclopedia which was fun, with many pictures, and also the Childcraft books, which had stories from different countries, Mother Goose poems, etc, etc. I pored over these.

Was it Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories? With a religious moral.

Lewis' Narnia books
Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert [I'm not sure, but I bet the author was a socialist; full of compassion for the poor.]
Agatha Christie, leading to countless other mystery writers
Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein [his books for kids are better], Poul Anderson, leading to many sci-fi and fantasy authors

I read whatever looked interesting at home without distinguishing between children's or adult books; and there are many good children's books I have discovered as an adult:

Madeleine L'Engle
Watership Down [and some of Richard Adams' other books; The Unbroken Web is very good]
Pierre Berton's Secret World of Og
Arthur Ransome books; Swallows and Amazons, etc.
Terry Pratchett [all good; some are children's books]
Diana Wynne Jones; British fantasy author; good with quirky ideas
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 June 2005 01:36 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you're interested in current writing for kids, btw, you should find a copy of the current (June 2005) issue of The Walrus magazine, which has an interesting article by Don Gillmor, an award-winning writer of kidlit, called "Has Childhood Gone AWOL?"

While he considers the serious changes that actual childhood does, of course, undergo over time, Gillmor also does a reading of the homogenization of the kidlit publishing biz that rings true to me, since it echos so clearly what is happening everywhere else in the publishing biz. When the main game -- and more and more, the whole game -- is marketing, and the marketeers won't give the quiet, interesting new book the time to take off by word of mouth, more and more the only "safe" authors are ... already famous people.

So Madonna sells. Hell: Prince Charles sells. And so on.

Good article.


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Melsky
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posted 11 June 2005 04:04 PM      Profile for Melsky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I really enjoyed the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. I re-read them as an adult and they were pretty strange! There's a whole series of them, not just the Wizard of Oz.

I'm waiting for the Harry Potter book too.

I loved the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and the Dragonquest series by Ann McCafferty.


From: Toronto | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
brebis noire
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posted 12 June 2005 09:19 AM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How about Judy Blume's canon? I started reading her when I was in grade 4, then my mum (who was part time school librarian) discovered them and duly censored them for me - but not before I read several others: Are you there God, it's me Margaret?; Deenie; Blubber; That was then, this is now; (something about) Sally J. Friedman...I didn't make it to the real juicy ones, though (Forever, Wifey...)

My impression as a kid was that when she was onto subjects such as puberty and sexuality, she was truly exciting to read, but on other subjects, her books tended to annoy me (though she did provide my first introduction to New York Jewish culture from the 50s to the 70s.)

Suzette, as for Watership Down, I'm pretty certain that it wasn't mawkish or sentimental, because I would've been turned off from it, I've never had a high tolerance for sentimentality. It was a complicated story, and involved the dilemmas between individuality and survival as a society. It just happened to be about rabbits.


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Granola Girl
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posted 12 June 2005 03:11 PM      Profile for Granola Girl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I remember loving Watership Down, too. From what I remember it was pretty dark - all those rabbits living under a totalitarian dictatorship...Pretty heavy stuff for a kids book now that I think about it. The movie made me cry, uncontrollably.

Wow. Thanks for sharing all of your faves. I had even forgotten some of mine until they were mentioned, like the Velveteen Rabbit and Charlotte;s Web. I'm going to have to go back to my bookshelf and re-read a few, perhaps under the pre-text of reading them to my kid!


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Mandos
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posted 12 June 2005 03:25 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm very happy someone mentioned The Dark Is Rising. It's an amazing series. It's like Harry Potter without the alternate-world wish-fulfillment and with much, much more grim rural British folklore. And it even has suggested human sacrifice and all that.
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Contrarian
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posted 12 June 2005 04:02 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Dark is Rising is excellent, except for the ending which pissed me off completely. Here these kids have gone through all these experiences, and at the end they are going to have their memories wiped and forget the whole thing? Gah!

I always preferred the Mary Poppins style where she denies that anything unusual happened, but the kids always find one small bit of evidence that it did happen.


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
trevor j.
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posted 12 June 2005 04:11 PM      Profile for trevor j.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I dunno. I always thought the memory-wipe was kind of a good/necessary thing - if the children retained into adulthood all these vivid, stirring memories of the time when they helped save the world from the forces of darkness, then how could anything in their future lives ever hope to compete with that? It'd sort of take the edge off your day-to-day existence, I reckon.
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obscurantist
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posted 12 June 2005 04:17 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. Didn't read it when I was a kid, rather, just last year, but perhaps the best sci fi / fantasy books for kids or for adults that I've read in many years.

And I DID read as a kid, and still enjoy, Gordon Korman's earlier comic novels.

[ 12 June 2005: Message edited by: obscurantist ]


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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