Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

An Inlet for Apple Pie

“Fairy tales are thus more realistic than they may appear at first sight; while the magic in them almost heightens the realism. The magic sets us wondering how we ourselves would react in similar circumstances. It encourages speculation. It gives a child licence to wonder. And this is the merit of the tales, that by going beyond possibility they enlarge our daily horizon. For a man not given to speculation might as well walk on four legs as two. A child who does not feel wonder is but an inlet for apple pit.”

-The Classic Fairy Tales by Iona and Peter Opie, page 16

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