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This little book made me smile and nod throughout. Katherine sums up so eloquently the sheer delights of children’s literature. As an avid reader teacher, I want to share her message with everyone. There are so many wonderful authors at the moment, creating such amazing children’s books. We should all let ourselves take refuge between the covers and lose ourselves in the adventures, make friends with the rich characters and share in these wonderful worlds with our children.
I bought this after reading the Amazon reviews which spoke highly of it. Someone had commented it had inspired them to start writing. Good I thought, maybe it will motivate me to complete some scripts but to be honest I didn't particularly enjoy it and felt rather let down. I had to re-read several sentences in the book to make sense of them because they were poorly constructed. The language used did not inspire me to read on because I felt it was lack-lustre, boring and read like a poor student essay I am surprised because this author has such good reviews for her novels so I have decided to read one of those and see if they are written in a similar style. I hasten to add I liked the intention of the essay style book but felt it fell short of the mark.
A very short book about the value of children's books, not only for children but for adults as well. It really just whetted my appetite and I would have loved more about which books to read and which authors to follow.
Firstly, let me just say that this is a very short book; in fact it's more of an extended essay on the joys of reading children's fiction, whatever one's age. And it's one with which I would wholeheartedly agree as I still read a fair amount of books aimed at a much younger market than my own - some of which are rereads of books I enjoyed as a child and then there are those that I buy for younger members of my family, which I always read before gifting just to make sure they are suitable for the young person I have purchased them for. Although the books that I remember from my own childhood are those that provide the most pleasure such as books by Edith Nesbit, Nina Bawden, Philippa Pearce, Antonia Forest, Malcolm Saville. and many more, I have also found much to enjoy when reading children's books as an adult, such as those by Philip Pullman, Lucy Strange, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Eva Ibbotson, Robin Stevens and, indeed, Katherine Rundell, the author of this little book itself - in fact there are many authors who are writing wonderfully imaginative and enjoyable stories for children today, but this most probably isn't the place to list them.
As Ms Rundell comments "...children's fiction can reteach you to read with an open heart" - which can be no bad thing; she also says "there will be many who would shame you for reading children's fiction beyond the bright line of your eighteenth birthday...but refuse to be shamed" - well I've never felt the need to apologize for reading children's books as an adult, although I have had my fair share of people questioning my enjoyment of children's literature; however, I actually feel quite sorry for those who cannot appreciate that to take a little time out from adult books in order to read or reread children's literature is actually time well spent. So, if you have an open mind and feel your imagination needs a little exercise - and especially if, during the present time in lockdown you feel the need for something to distract you from present-day life, then take Katherine Rundell's advice and pick up something written for our younger selves. I just wish that Ms Rundell had extended this essay and had also included more recommendations for those who might need a little guidance for their journey into reading and rereading children's literature.
The title of this tiny book is genius and I bought it on the strength of that alone. The actual content is an impassioned plea for adults to read children's books, a demand with which I am much in sympathy and which doesn't depend on sharing the political conviction the author displays. It would have made a fine essay in a magazine somewhere but as a book it left me feeling short-changed: how I would have loved much more on children's books themselves rather than the few fleeting mentions we get. Overall, disappointing, though I still love the book's title.
An extremely short read. More of an essay than anything else. I very much enjoyed it as Rundell's thoughts on children's literature and its place in the grand scheme of things are very much my own. I love that she takes it seriously and is a proper champion for truly eclectic reading for everyone. I was reading Kafka at ten (constraints of a small library, not because I am wise) and Black Beauty at 42. Read what you want, when you want and don't ever think children's books are not amazing, because they so often are.
I started reading a raft of children's fiction again based on this very book. As other reviewers have suggested, this book maybe short and is perhaps better understood as an essay, but none of that detracts from the book's poignancy. In fact the author practices what she preaches in the sense that this book is just as much an exercise in efficacy as it is utter brilliance.
The author makes a elegant and impassioned argument as to why reading children's fiction as an adult is so important. Great read and wonderful audio to go with it.
Any book which makes me want to stand up, applaud and then grab a pencil to underline bits is a sure fire winner in my book. The next time someone asks me “why do you read kids books?” I’m gonna hand them this.
As a new parent, who sees tons of children’s books on the shelves and can’t wait to enter that world with my daughter, I was drawn to this book. I read it in just an hour or two, and there were some fun things to reflect on, but I was hoping for a bit more from it. I suppose I may not be the target audience because I am already converted to this philosophy about the importance of maintaining an unfettered imagination. It would make for a fun gift to a new parent, a good thing to keep in the gift closet, but I wouldn’t say it is enriching enough to buy for yourself.