Thursday, July 1, 2010

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

              "In every generation, children's books mirror the society
                from which they arise;    
               children always get the books their parents deserve."
             -Leonard S. Marcus
I met this quotation while browsing. I'm still puzzling on the second part.  Do Caribbean children's books acurately mirror our societies? I teach a writing- for- children course and am very often struck by the fact that, especially for picture books, the students' stories are very generic. They could be set anywhere- as if  the writers are afraid of being condsidered parochial; as if they are afraid of their own society.  Of course, these student exercises are not by any means ready for publication, but these are aspiring writers. What Caribbean children's concerns should we be mirroring in our stories? Given the realities of negative situations in countries like Jamaica, ( I shame to mention how many children have been killed in recent times) what can we write for our children? Realism or escapism?  Is it time for Caribbean superheroes carrying the message that good will always overcome? -and that's not a fairy tale

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