miércoles, 8 de junio de 2016

MercatorNet: A salt-of-the-earth book favourite entertains generations of children [ONLY FOR THOUGHT - NEW SECTION OF LOST IDEAS] while adding value

MercatorNet: A salt-of-the-earth book favourite entertains generations of children

A salt-of-the-earth book favourite entertains generations of children

‘Peter Rabbit’ vs. ‘Polar Bear’s Underwear: the revenge of the classics

A long-lost manuscript is already a bestseller.
Julia Dent | Jun 1 2016 | comment 1 
The Tale of Kitty-In-Bootsby Beatrix Potter
written for ages 2-7published in 2016 | Warne | 72 pages

More than 70 years after her death, Beatrix Potter has a new book coming out in September to coincide with the 150th anniversary of her birth. The long-lost manuscript of The Tale of Kitty-In-Boots, which will be illustrated by Quentin Blake (the wonderful illustrator of Roald Dahl's book), is already a bestseller. Potter, most famous for the well-loved classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit, seems to have worked on the manuscript for The Tale of Kitty-In-Boots in 1914, but stopped whenher publisher didn't seem keen on her idea. So the manuscript stayed unpublished until it was discovered in 2013. Why is a children's book written in 1914 already gaining such a cult following?
Potter's "new" book isn't the first to gain posthumous popularity; last year, Laura Ingalls Wilder's annotated autobiography Pioneer Girl sold like hot cakes. Perhaps these classics are so popular because they are full of timeless morals and virtues often lacking in contemporary children's books. Browsing the titles of some of the most popular recent children's books, I found works such as: Zombies in Love, Polar Bear's Underwear, I Don't Like Koala, Poop Fountain!: The Qwikpick Papers, Hot Rod Hamster: Monster Truck Mania, and The Wonderful Things You Will Be.
Do children really need books about zombies or a polar bear's missing underwear? While I'm sure these books are imaginative and fun, children also need books with more substance; they need books that will help them learn how to build character rather than simply tell them how wonderful they are. Classic books with lessons and virtues can strengthen children's personal ethics and help teach them right from wrong. Potter's famous The Tale of Peter Rabbit has beautiful illustrations as well as a lesson on what happens when you're disobedient and mischievous (Hint: you might end up in a pie).
If children learn to appreciate classic books at a young age, they might also continue reading the classics as they grow older, which could boost their intelligence. Writers like Shakespeare and Jane Austen not only give readers a glimpse of history, but they also give the brain a work out as much as a difficult math problem might, even though they are also entertaining us.
These books aren't merely educational, however. They also represent timeless virtues in a culture that too often praises the new while neglecting the old. As well, today's early readers have many more outlets competing for their attention, from video games to other screen-based forms of entertainment. In this ephemeral cultural universe, the staying power of a classic children’s book is worth preserving. After all, it's hard to imagine books about zombies being passed down to the next generation like Potter's and Wilder's books have been.
Early enthusiasm about the publication of The Tale of Kitty-In-Boots is about more than the book itself. It's an enthusiasm for the kind of writer Beatrix Potter was: one who didn't shrink from challenging even young readers to think through the moral challenges of daily life, even if that life is lived (as in Kitty-in-Boots) by a crime-fighting cat who, like most children, struggles to be both "serious" and "well-behaved".
This article first appeared on Acculturated and is reproduced here with permission.


I’d like to use this newsletter to remind our friends about the Reading Matters blog, edited by Jennifer Minicus, from New Jersey. She and her fellow writers are posting great reviews of children’s books. Along with a brief description of the book, there are recommendations about its suitability. It’s a terrific resource. Today we feature two reviews from Jane Fagan and Susan Moore.
As well, don’t forget to contribute to our crowd-sourced summer reading list. This time our focus is on crime fiction and thrillers.
Finally, don’t miss the next article in our series about transgenderism. “Are we now officially up to LGBTQQIAAP, or did you fall asleep at your keyboard?” asks Zac Alstin, our associate editor. 

Michael Cook

T comes right after LGB
Zac Alstin | CONJUGALITY | 8 June 2016
It's a very small step from same-sex marriage to transgender.
What Enlightenment thinkers would have made of Donald Trump
Anna Plassart | FEATURES | 8 June 2016
18th Century thinkers had grave fears about the seductive pull of demagogues
Growing Up:  Alexander McCall Smith’s Bertie Pollock
Susan Reibel Moore | READING MATTERS | 8 June 2016
The 44 Scotland Street series
Generosity is… taking six children into your family
Carolyn Moynihan | FAMILY EDGE | 8 June 2016
Faith and friendship flower in a heroic gesture.
A salt-of-the-earth book favourite entertains generations of children
Jane Fagan | READING MATTERS | 8 June 2016
A classic adventure not to be missed!
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