Quotable Literary Quotes #2

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”- C. S. Lewis

Several years ago I don’t know that I would have appreciated the truth of this statement. However right now  I am reading through Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind and the Willows at bedtime with my kids and enjoying it immensely. I am as riveted by the adventures of Rat, Mole, and Toad as my kids are, so I can relate to what Lewis said above.

What passes for children’s literature today is in large part the reason why many adults bypass children’s literature. However, Lewis Carroll is a far cry from Annie Barrows. The latter my girls enjoy reading, while I could not care less for the Ivy + Bean series as a source of personal reading pleasure. There are those books which at least get them reading, and then there are those books that stay with them for a lifetime.

After reading one children’s book out of curiosity about a regional author, and yet another in anticipation of the class I am teaching this fall (review forthcoming), I am finding that I am drawn to well written children’s writing as much if not more so than the classic literature written for adult audiences. The artistry, skill, and language of Kenneth Grahame is just as deep and rewarding as the writing of Charlotte Bronte. And I have to say that The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh, while unquestionably written with the young child in mind, is equally exciting to the little girl hidden in me.

If you don’t know quite what to read and are a bit burnt out on the current offerings, I strongly suggest that you all consider re-reading (or in many cases reading for the first time) some classic children’s literature.

We never really outgrow well written stories.

 

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11 thoughts on “Quotable Literary Quotes #2

  1. “If you don’t know quite what to read and are a bit burnt out on the current offerings, I strongly suggest that you all consider re-reading (or in many cases reading for the first time) some classic children’s literature.”

    What an excellent suggstion (see, that’s why I follow your blog!)

    I don’t know how I know this or where I read it but, the “fairytales” that we read (and watch) were actually written for adults. They were much scarier and had more depth, in their original writing. They were modified to fit the minds of children.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen. My family has had a “be very careful with anything written after 1960” rule for a while, and it’s served us well. Not that there wasn’t dreck written before 1960, but most of it mercifully has gone to the dustbin of history.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good point by Robyn about fairy tales. Having read the work of the Brothers Grimm in the original German (sometimes in dialect; that’s a chore!), I can confidently affirm that the originals are a lot gorier than what Disney puts out. You don’t want to watch “Cinderella” with me because I’m prone to making comments about what ‘ol Walt left out. “Hey, where are the ravens to peck their eyes out? Why doesn’t she cut off her heel/toes?” They are folk tales, often allegorical and probably with a touch of old Teutonic paganism in them along with something of a mystical understanding of Christianity.

    One of my favorites is “Von de Fischer und syne Fru”, loosely translated “The Fisherman and his wife”, where the wife of the fisherman demands more and more of the magic fish her husband catches, and the sea gets progressively darker and fouler and stormier with each demand for more–she wants to be rich, then prince, then king, then pope–until she demands to be like the living God.

    Then the sea is clean and calm, and the fisherman and his wife are back living in a little hut. Kinda like our Lord was born in a barn, the son of a humble craftsman.Not gory, but artful, IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re right about the fairy tales, Bike.

    I loathe (and I do mean loathe) Disney’s Little Mermaid. Rebellion, dishonor, and flirting with witchcraft exalted and rewarded.

    I made sure my kids knew the fate Ariel met in the original as well as why it was as it should have been -apart from repentance of course.

    Like

  5. @ Bike:

    “where the wife of the fisherman demands more and more of the magic fish her husband catches, and the sea gets progressively darker and fouler and stormier with each demand for more–she wants to be rich, then prince, then king, then pope–until she demands to be like the living God.”

    Sounds like an apt depiction of feminism!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes. one of the more well-spent $2.99 that I’ve spent in the last few years was the collection of 25 children’s classics on ebook… you know, my kids didn’t read many of them (no interest), but I sure enjoyed MY re-reading of Heidi and others…

    Liked by 1 person

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