Language and the sublime art of writing for children


This quote, a favorite of mine is also on the quotes pages in this blog but I thought it was so important it needed to placed here as well. It is for all those who believe children’s literature a simple endeavor, for those weened on Dick and Jane primary readers and for those who simply have no love of the wonderful, magical quality of langauge.

“When it comes to telling children stories, they don’t need simple language. They need beautiful language.”

-Philip Pullman

We should all keep this profound truth in mind the next time we answer a child’s question “Will you tell me a story“. Whats more, it must be kept in mind when parents are baby talking to their children. It may sound cute and it may generate a smile on the lips of an infant but what comes out is always what goes in. There is never any substitute for real, meaningful language, even when the words may seem too difficult. It is this difficulty which drives the child to cipher out meanings and who of us does not want our children to live a life in pursuit if meaning?

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