The Importance of Children’s Books
By: Liesel Lutz
Hey everyone! This month I wanted to talk about something that has recently become very close to my heart: the importance of children’s books. As some of you may know, although I’m Editor in Chief of Outrageous Fortune, I’m an Education major with a minor in Creative Writing. This semester I’m taking a Children’s Literature class and I. Love. It. We’re reading books like Tom Sawyer, Anne of Green Gables (one of the ones I recently fell in love with), The Giver, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Additionally, in one of my other courses, we’re creating lesson plans on how to use a children’s book in all grades as an engagement activity before the actual lesson. Who would have guessed that the prevalent children’s literature we have now didn’t really exist until the early 1900s. Before then it was strict moral tales and who wants to read those? We’d much rather read about vagabond pirates, adventures in Avonlea, or, obviously, Hogwarts.
Currently in this class we’re reading A Wind in the Willows which features all sorts of anthropomorphism and is really quite a lovely tale to read if you can stand three pages of descriptions about the River Thames. Because this story is about animals it is fraught with cozy descriptions of little holes in the grounds with cozy arm chairs that you’ll sink into with a cup of tea and finger sandwiches on the end table, shortly followed by an afternoon nap and to me, that sounds simply amazing. It also really reminds me of the hobbit holes in The Hobbit. I always wanted to live in a hobbit hole, although I guess I’m a Hufflepuff so perhaps that’s the basis of my particular infatuation with cozy underground dwellings. I am in fact a badger disguised as a human.
But all joking and dreaming aside I think that most teenagers and adults don’t read enough children’s books. Most adults I know don’t read any in between their own childhood and having a child themselves. I think this is a big loss. Children’s books give the reader a new awestruck and wonderful view of the world. In a time when the world is fraught with controversy and fighting (although when is it not?) who doesn’t need to read about the adventures of a Hobbit or a boy wizard in a magical world. So my challenge for you is to pick up a children’s book. I don’t care if it’s Harry Potter for the 50th time, but read one. Do it for younger you. I, personally, recommend Anne of Green Gables, but I guess that’s probably because I am the precocious and verbose Anne presented in the book and in true Anne fashion we enjoy reading about characters like ourselves. I wish you all well-reading in a hopefully cozy armchair with a cup of tea, even if it isn’t in a Hobbit hole.