Some Thoughts on Harry Potter, Lucy Pevensie, Alice, and Compasses…

Here’s a confession- I’ve always wanted to write Children’s literature.

Oh, not any typical children’s lit/young adult book, I’ve always dreamt of doing something groundbreaking, stupendous. So, in other words, I’ve built up the idea so much in my head that I can’t even begin to start. None of the ideas I get reach that level. Of course, none could.

Why do I love the idea of writing a book in this genre? Because this is the gateway drug for all good readers (I plan to stop the drug references there). We don’t start by reading War and Peace; we start by reading Lewis Carroll and his Alice. A good children’s lit book will inspire a reader (and writer) for decades afterwards.

I can go on about this for pages–and I’ll probably talk about it again at some point–but let me focus today on one thing I love and two things I think children and young adult lit needs help on. Continue reading

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Lost on the Street

I have a new editorial on GreenSpotBlue.  This time I take on the problems with the modern Sesame Street.  Here is an excerpt:

There is that expression you can’t go home again, and as the older I get the more I am surprised by how much that exactly relates to.  From old haunts from my college days long closed to family gatherings where beloved members are no longer with us, things are different, changed, and never will be like they once were. It’s a sad fact of life. Yet, as a parent I never thought it would be true of Sesame Street.

Sesame Street, growing up, was one of my streets. It was real to me and I loved the show. I had favorite characters (I was Super Grover for one Halloween and Ernie for another; thanks to my mom’s amazing ability to make costumes) and I had many of the songs memorized. For example, when counting to twelve it is impossible for me, even to this day, not to sing the numbers like the Pointer Sisters.

So when I became a father I looked forward to introducing my son to the street I “grew up” on.  But the days of Mr. Hooper are long gone.  The days where stories would unfold over the hour with “commercials” about the alphabet and numbers in between has joined our favorite shopkeep. It is a show now of scheduled “segments” each one a show onto itself, losing the spontaneity, surprises, and energy that made the original an unpredictable joy to watch.

To read more of the article (including my point by point issues with the show and what can be done to save it), click here.