“Geek Dad” book list

Here’s a list of favourite kids’ books from “Geek Dad”: “67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10”. A pretty good, eclectic list, though of course very subjective.

I enjoyed scanning through this, and I’m always looking for titles I’ve never heard of. It’s particularly useful because it often includes age recommendations. More useful would have been to group them by ages, but that’s just me…

While I do like this one, I have to say I’m getting a little fed up with these “bucket lists” and “must do” lists. You know, the ubiquitous “1001 books to read/places to see/songs to hear/etc before you die” lists. Seems to be the favourite way to pad out a shopping list into a book.

p.s. After a brief labour disruption, my library has just reopened, so I’ll be able to get back to book reviews! Stay tuned…


Margaret Wise Brown

Here’s an interesting Slate article about Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown, “Do Childish People Write Better Children’s Books?” by Katie Roiphe.

Re. Roiphe’s question, I’d have to read more about Brown to find out how she did it*, but it seems to me that being truly childish would help in the inspiration and writing part, but the attendant lack of discipline and application would make financial/career success  kind of unlikely.

Especially today. The market for children’s content is massive, as Print and Media toil in service of the great god Merchandising. As the dollars flow in, writing for children is no longer seen as a less-than-serious pursuit. Lucre leads to respect, et voilà! Suddenly everyone has an idea for a picture book or fantasy series. This intense competition makes it less likely that any but the most driven and ambitious (ie. least child-like) might actually succeed in having a children’s book published.

At any rate, Ms. Brown was a real character – read the article. Despite her bunny books she enjoyed rabbit hunting, and once told a Life reporter:

Well, I don’t especially like children, either. At least not as a group. I won’t let anybody get away with anything just because he is little.

– Margaret Wise Brown


* Another interesting question would be: how do we, as adults, define “childishness”? (Flighty? Selfish? Innocent? Silly?) Another can of worms for another day…

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