Thursday, July 16, 2009

Children's Literature is Fun

Okay, not all of it is fun. Some of it is insipid. Some of it is saccharine. Some of it is just stupid. But some of it is so, so fun :-) I like it with a little twist and I think many kids do too. Not enough authors take advantage of children's odd sensibilities, although there are notable exceptions, both new and old. A couple of older dark and twisty authors are Lewis Carroll and Roald Dahl. Three of the more recent ones that come to mind are Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, and Philip Ardagh.

Today I want to share with you something that just really tickled me. Here:Gyo Fukikawa's A to Z Picture Book.
Looks like a fairly typical picture book for very young children, yes? Mostly it is. The pages are full of many examples of words that start with the different letters of the alphabet. There were a couple that just made me laugh.
For example:K - Kenny is kowtowing. Of course he is! hee hee!
And:Z - zombie. I saw that and just went, "Yessss!" Now there is that zombie mayhem I was seeking.

Put me in mind of Sebastien's current alphabetical adventures. This book was published in 1974, but if parents are smart they are still reading it to their children least until Sebastien's work is published.

Hope you enjoyed this twisted side of children's lit! What is your favorite children's book? Do you like different children's books as an adult or do you have old tried and true favorites? Tell me about it! I'm a professional.


Ananda girl said...

I am not familiar with Gyo Fukikawa's book. But I like it! I also like the other authors you mention.

We got a hoot out of the "A House Called Awful End" books... or the Eddie Dickens Trilogy by Phillip Ardagh. I've only really read two so far.

The Zack Files were cute too. Kids do like things that are a bit skewed. Thanks for the great title!

MrManuel said...

Z is for zombie in a kid's book??! Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Holy Crap, that rules. I like the fact that show kowtowing. I have got to find me this book and when I am working again, buy it.

Tara said...

Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seusse, Lemony Snicket...They will soon pale in comparison to the alphabet book Sebastien has in production. Look out, world!

Sebastien said...

Super! You are such a great fount of knowledge and ideas (serious, I know that might sound sarcastic, but I mean it in earnest!!!). Believe it or not, I wasn't familiar with AA Milne, I mean, I saw the cartoon of Winnie, but never the books. I have ordered them, because of you!!! Also ordered an Eric Carle book, one of his bear books, his illustrations look soooo fun! will be looking up more of Gyo Fukkiwa, and Philip Ardagh, whom I'm not familiar with. I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan, the Sandman series is so fascinating. Not too familiar with his children's work, but I've heard good things about it.

Ananda girl said...

Neil Gaiman has a wonderful children's book about how he traded his dad away. It comes with a CD of him reading it! A very cool book. Can't recall the title though. Rats.

laura b. said...

Ananda: I recommend the Awful End books to kids who finished the Series of Unfortunate Events and need a fix. Zack Files are so popular here. Ohhhh...The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish! I love books that entertain the whole family like that one does :-)

MrManuel: I know, right? So awesome.

AlienCG: There is so much in that book. Some of the illustrations are of things you'd expect...some not so much. Definitely worth having.

Tara: I agree. Sebastien is set to take over the world :-)

Sebastien: I'm blushing. It is nice feeling that I've been able to pass along some useful stuff...there is so much of it out there! Neil Gaiman totally takes his sense of the fantastic and puts it out there for everyone from very young children to teens to adults. He strikes me as a pretty unusual guy and his children and young adult stuff is definitely worth checking out.

Pamela said...

I love the japanese poop (or is it fart) one. But didn't have that growing up. I loved the fairy tales... that's all I remember as a child, and oh, the dr. seuss books.

laura b. said...

Pamela: I think there is both...The Gas We Pass: the story of farts and Everyone Poops. What could be cooler?
Did you get the Disney versions of fairy tales or the genuine articles? And Dr. Seuss was and is amazing.

crazy4coens said...

thanks for the post - off to AR with me to check reading levels. I've seen that A to Z book - but never noticed the zombie. What a hoot!

laura b. said...

Crazy4Coens: Good old AR...desperate parents are always bringing books up to the desk demanding to know the level and points :-)
More children's books should include zombies, don't you think?

crazy4coens said...

Yeah - AR is questionable - but it is touted as the greatest think since sliced bread in some circles - when I see kids who won't read books because they won't get AR points.....grrrr - but now we have AR web based that has opened up the reading possibilites!

Absolutley there should be more zombies and real life consequences like death to the little mermaid and matchgirl. death is real kiddos - real i tell you!