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Here, in New Zealand, media coverage of children’s books is poor. I was particularly interested when a fellow Kiwi author shared this online conversation about the topic of the under-representation of children’s literature in the media.

This was the original “call-to-action:” ‘#CoverKidsBooks invites you to join in a public conversation about children’s books.  Leave a comment, write a blog of your own, or tweet about it using the hashtag.  Tell us why children’s books matter to you, and what you’d like to see the media do to #CoverKidsBooks!’

The research by #CoverKidsBooks showed that children’s books ‘typically got 3% of newspaper review space, despite accounting for over 30% of the market.’

This is a subject close to my heart. *grabs soapbox*

I’ve never been able to understand why children’s books are so greatly undervalued. To me, children’s literature is as important as any other genre. Wake up, world, to the increasing rather than decreasing value of books for our kids! Wake up to the importance  of time spent reading for our children!

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When I was growing up, we were given books as prized gifts on birthdays and Christmases. I can remember poring over each and every tome. They were treasured. The first book I ever received was at seven years old. ‘The Legend of Siegfried’ gripped me so completely, that it started off a lifelong passion for mythology and legendary storytelling.

In the original post, Laura Jackson Warburton commented, ‘I think there is still a massive amount of snobbery about children’s books. Not about one children’s book over another, but people tending to dismiss anything from YA down as ‘only silly stories’.’

Exactly. Why is that? What is this snobbery based on?

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I’ve always been guided by the words of famous author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, in 1853, Children are now the only representatives of the men and women of that happy era (the golden age) and therefore it is that we must raise the intellect and fancy to the level of childhood, in order to recreate the original myths

The part of the CoverKidsBooks conversation to really spark my interest however, was when, in the original post, Emma Perry was asked whether children’s books were important.

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Emma Perry: I think especially in the world today, where we’re bombarded by information and interruption, your relationship with a book is so important. I’d like to encourage my children to have that long-form thought and long-form imagination.

This was the key, I thought.

We, the parents of today’s children, worry greatly about the future awaiting them. We see our kids with their heads buried in their digital games, or, staring at mobile phones. We wonder how they will ever concentrate long enough to hold down a steady job or relationship.

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Maybe that’s why children need to read books these days more than ever before in our history? Because reading helps our modern kids focus their easily-scattered attention for longer periods. Something has to happen to redress the effects of the continuous short-term gratification of playing digital games. Books may just be the cure. Huzzah!

*steps off soapbox*

It’s been proven that reviews and media coverage do sell books. Our children need good quality books, and not just in digital format.

With that in mind, what can we do to raise the profile and image of Children’s Literature?

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Out of all the answers given in the original blog post, I liked the comment by Laura Jackson Warburton.

LJW: Daily book reviews in newspapers, not only of new releases from bestselling authors, but of debut authors and archive titles. A children’s book channel like MTV but with books, grabbing kids’ attention and helping books get into the right hands.  Top 10’s, book bloggers’ reviews, celebrities talking about books, book trailers etc would get kids thinking about books, talking about books in the playground and using pester power to get parents to buy the books!

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Yes. These ideas are great!

Leave a comment, write a blog of your own, or tweet about it using the hashtag.  Tell us why children’s books matter to you, and what you’d like to see the media do!

#CoverKidsBooks – The Facts

#CoverKidsBooks – Booksellers

#CoverKidsBooks – Librarians

#CoverKidsBooks – Teachers

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Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol

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Any book that helps a child to form the habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. ~ Maya Angelou

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Subscribe to my Newsletter by emailing me with “Newsletter Subscription” in the subject line to: yvettecarol@hotmail.com

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Comments
  1. Jenni Legate says:

    Really interesting and important topic. If it weren’t for the Harry Potter series, I would have had a hard time getting my children to become good readers. Now that mine are grown, I have not paid as much attention to the world of children’s literature as I should. I like the idea of a children’s book channel like MTV! Great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      God bless J.K.Rowling! She did wonders for children’s lit. I tell you, since the HP series, this genre has exploded. There are such great books now that you really are spoilt for choice. There’s even an anthropomorphic series that is super popular, the ‘Geronimo Stilton’ series, which makes me so happy!
      Yeah, I love the idea of an MTV kids’ books channel, too. All you need is to get some stars on there and some really cool kids, and get them talking about books, run competitions, award prizes, treat writers like rock stars, use cool graphics and music – can you imagine? That would be awesome!

      Like

  2. Bun Karyudo says:

    I think the point about being able to engage in “long-form thought” was a very good one. Attention spans seem to be getting shorter and shorter. Children’s literature is the gateway to the world of reading. If people don’t being reading for pleasure when they’re young, they may not pick up the habit at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Yes, exactly. Case-in-point being my brother as opposed to me and my sisters: we were all readers and we still read for pleasure, whereas he never got into reading (despite dad’s earnest attempts), and the only book he’s read cover-to-cover was my debut release last year! It makes me so sad to think of all the incredible worlds and flights of imagination he’s missed out on. When I think back over my life, I can equate different books with every era, and I remember them almost like amazing travels and places I’ve been. It’s such a treasure trove! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bun Karyudo says:

        It’s a shame about your brother missing out on so much. It’s touching, though, that your book is the only one he’s ever read all the way through. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        You’ve hit the nail on the head, Bun. Al was the last person I expected to read it – yet, every time I got in contact with him, he’d say, “I’m up to page such-&-such!” which was a real thrill. Then, he said he couldn’t wait for the next one, as if he fully planned to read that, too. It really is the moments like that which make writing worthwhile. I was moved! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bun Karyudo says:

        He sounds like a nice brother to have. 🙂

        Like

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