When Dr Seuss Enterprises, “working with a panel of experts, including educators” recently reviewed their catalogue and decided to stop publishing and licensing six Dr Seuss books, the uproar was immediate and vociferous. Ian considers today's publishing sensitivities in the context of constantly changing societal attitudes and his own response to outdated books as a child.
More than seventy years after their first appearance, the big-nosed Moomins – immortalised in a series of nine fantasy chapter books written and illustrated by Finnish cartoonist and island-dweller Tove Jansson between 1945 and 1970 – continue to beguile children and adults worldwide. Gay takes a look at two very different books from the Moomin series.
In painful and insecure times like these, many of us find it comforting to re-read a favourite book – perhaps one from a sunnier and more innocent time, for the escape it offers briefly, or one that depicts characters triumphing through dangers and hardships. What books do you turn to?
Growing up to be an artist is a popular theme in children’s literature. Here are two older books about boys wrestling with definitions of masculinity at odds with their artistic vocations.
When an extraordinary news story breaks, everyone remembers where they were, and what they were doing. In the same way, there are remarkable books which, when first encountered, are forever impressed with a timestamp of memory.
As a child I read this book until I wore out the cover. How, then, did I miss the death of an important character?
YA author Steph Bowe passed away on 20th January, aged just 25. Ian pays tribute to Steph and the gifts she left us.
About a year ago I was asked to give a talk at a fundraising dinner for literacy. This post is an excerpt.
There is much I love about adult fiction. But children's literature, when done well, has a special quality.
Those of us who grew up with a rich and varied ecosystem of children's books are becoming conscious of an insidious loss of species and a trend towards large monoculture farming.