21 January, 2015

Wild things by Betsy Bird et al [Anne, Helensville]

Children’s books are all peace, love, and fluffy bunnies, right? 

Even if you haven’t read a children’s book since you were a child, you know better.

You remember how well behaved Max and his Wild Things were. What about the Cat in the Hat? 

Three children’s literature lovers explore the subversive in children’s literature. From sex and drugs (obviously in teenage reading) to mischief and eating – all points are covered here. 

Not only the books, but stories behind the scenes are explored. For example, what Roald Dahl got up to in his war service. Acts of violence and murder by a sweet-as-pie children’s author. 

A fascinating read for lovers of children’s books – and those that wonder what the big deal is. 
I will admit to being a subversive reader, and enjoy the unusual in books. Mainstream children’s literature takes this much further than its adult literature counterpart. If you want to change attitudes, start with children. And that’s often what is going on in those ‘innocent’ children’s books lurking on the shelves. 

Title: Wild things!: acts of mischief in children's literature 
Authors: Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson and Peter D. Sieruta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 2014
ISBN: 9780763651503

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