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Katherine Rundell on learning from children’s books

Children’s books today do still have a ghost of their educative beginnings, but what they are trying to teach us has changed.

Children’s novels, to me, spoke, and still speak, of hope.

They say: look, this is what bravery looks like. This is what generosity looks like. They tell me, through the medium of wizards and lions and talking spiders, that this world we live in is a world of people who tell jokes and work and endure.

Children’s books say: the world is huge.

They say: hope counts for something.

They say: bravery will matter, wit will matter, empathy will matter, love will matter.

These things may or may not be true. I do not know. I hope they are. I think it’s urgently necessary to hear them and to speak them.

Katherine RundellWhy You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old And Wise [Waterstones]

More on books and reading:

Deep Literacy: what it takes
Kevin Kelly on deep literacy
Tyler Cowen on reading fast, reading widely and reading well
When to Stop? Page 37
Neil Gaiman on reading fiction, empathy and changing the world
Schopenhauer on reading yourself stupid
Books as network opportunities
Broker Books
Mortimer Adler on permanent literature
Folk art and reading as rivals
Misreading the mind: Ezra Klein and Nicholas Carr on transactional reading and contemplation
C.S. Lewis on reading the originals and on old books

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...