August 6, 2012
What Grown-Ups Can Learn From Kids’ Books

My copy of Le Petit Prince looks like it has been through a natural disaster. Or two. The dust jacket is torn at every edge. What’s not torn is frayed. A piece of scotch tape holds together the éand r of Exupéry. The white background can’t really be called white anymore. And inside, little pencil markings lurk throughout the text (I would memorize passages when I was young), alongside evidence of attempted erasure—but you know how those old-school Number Two pencils are; all the erasers seem to do is leave things a little grayer than before. The book, in other words, has been well loved.
That’s not surprising. Most favorite children’s books are. But there’s one thing about mine that’s different: With the exception of those pesky eraser marks, the damage wasn’t sustained in childhood. Those are adult wounds.
The Little Prince is not alone to suffer that horrible fate: the designation of “children’s book” where it’s anything but, where it is actually far more worthy of an adult designation than many a so-called “adult” work. Leaving such books to childhood is a mistake of the worst kind. Fail to re-read them from a more mature standpoint and you’re almost guaranteed to miss what they’re all about.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

What Grown-Ups Can Learn From Kids’ Books

My copy of Le Petit Prince looks like it has been through a natural disaster. Or two. The dust jacket is torn at every edge. What’s not torn is frayed. A piece of scotch tape holds together the éand r of Exupéry. The white background can’t really be called white anymore. And inside, little pencil markings lurk throughout the text (I would memorize passages when I was young), alongside evidence of attempted erasure—but you know how those old-school Number Two pencils are; all the erasers seem to do is leave things a little grayer than before. The book, in other words, has been well loved.

That’s not surprising. Most favorite children’s books are. But there’s one thing about mine that’s different: With the exception of those pesky eraser marks, the damage wasn’t sustained in childhood. Those are adult wounds.

The Little Prince is not alone to suffer that horrible fate: the designation of “children’s book” where it’s anything but, where it is actually far more worthy of an adult designation than many a so-called “adult” work. Leaving such books to childhood is a mistake of the worst kind. Fail to re-read them from a more mature standpoint and you’re almost guaranteed to miss what they’re all about.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

  1. rossby reblogged this from burstofhope
  2. burstofhope reblogged this from canisfamiliaris and added:
    a lot of my favorite books are children’s books I re-read.
  3. delvingdeep reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  4. little-minnow reblogged this from englishmajorinrepair
  5. misimagined-imaginable reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  6. attempting-to-escape-reality reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  7. scriptorpaulina reblogged this from literateur and added:
    reading “The Sneeches” in 7th grade.. we found almost 30 morals to the story
  8. snowbubble reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  9. shadowsareinfinite reblogged this from theatlantic
  10. smuwritingcentre reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  11. unabrogable reblogged this from sunshjne
  12. charmaineyv reblogged this from yahighway
  13. hugohouse reblogged this from theatlantic
  14. unsuspectingfish reblogged this from ladysaviours
  15. katherineflora reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  16. lordlouiedor reblogged this from laughingfish
  17. valedictories reblogged this from littledust
  18. littledust reblogged this from ladysaviours
  19. ladysaviours reblogged this from yahighway
  20. annathensome reblogged this from theatlantic
  21. nomoretexasgovernorsforpresident reblogged this from theatlantic
  22. whitesubtitlesuponcanadianwinter reblogged this from yahighway
  23. theecstasyofakiss reblogged this from theatlantic
  24. literateur reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  25. pajamaprogram reblogged this from wiredlearning
  26. bullshitandnonwisdom reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  27. schnoc reblogged this from yahighway and added:
    I couldn’t agree more. Also, this makes me want to revisit The Little Prince. I never liked it as a child.
  28. sushie-shuakhwe reblogged this from yahighway
  29. 0mark9 reblogged this from yahighway
  30. paperlanternlit reblogged this from yahighway