Friday, February 24, 2012
National Geographic posted a list of Ten Top Literary Cities. Edinburgh, Scotland, tops the list, followed by Dublin, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Portland, Washington, D.C., Melbourne, and Santiago, Chile. Sad to say, I've been to only one, London (where I visited Dickens House). My hubby, thanks to all his business travel, has visited half the list, having just returned from Dublin, where he viewed The Book of Kells, a lifelong dream. Which places have you been to?
Last month Maurice Sendak appeared in a two-part "Colbert Report" and if you haven't yet seen it, please do. It was laugh aloud funny. In the show, Colbert shows Sendak a children's book he wrote, entitled: I Am a Pole (And So Can You). Sendak dismissed the book as "terribly ordinary" (and he was being generous), but admitted, "The sad thing is I liked it." Well, hold on to your hats, I Am a Pole will be published in May by Grand Central Publishing.
And get this, according to a survey of 2,000 UK parents, one in five have put the kibosh of reading fairy tales to their young ones. The reason? They're too scary--and not politically correct. Hansel and Gretel? Abandoned children. Snow White? Dwarves aren't a nice term for little people. Cinderella? Too much housework done by a female. Rapunzel? Kidnapping. Goldilocks? The kid's a thief. Have these people never read Bruno Bettelheim's The Uses of Enchantment? Apparently not. My daughter's favorite tale hands down was "The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids". Little goats left alone get tricked and swallowed up by a wolf, except for the youngest one. He tells his mother what has happened and she springs into action, using her smarts and sewing basket to free her kids and kill the wolf. It doesn't take a genius to figure out the story's appeal to a small child. No matter what happens, Mom's got your back. I feel sorry for the children of these parents who won't be able to resolve their fears because they never got the chance to hear these timeless stories.
This week saw my 1,000th tweet. I started Twitter a little over a year ago, not expecting to like it. Instead, I've found it an amazing resource, especially for people interested in children's literature. If you have a Twitter account (and if you don't, why not test the waters?), feel free to follow me @TheCathInTheHat. Happy tweeting!