10 Reason to Read Children’s Books Instead of ‘Grown-Up’ Books by Isabelle Sudron
Some may think that you grow out of kid’s books as you get older. There are those that think they are predictable and unrealistic. There is even the notion that children’s books are not challenging enough for our big old brains. However, there are many of us that feel otherwise, myself being one them. Children’s fiction can be some of the most honest, witty and humbling stories you’ll ever read.
- They’re more intelligent
If you place a confusing, fictional situation in front of an adult, then they will immediately start to question things. How did she get from there to there? Why did he do that, when he could have done this? Surely, that isn’t possible?
Children, on the other hand, have big, fantastic imaginations with no limits, as do the books they read. If you place an unusual, fictional situation in front of them, it won’t take them long to put things together and explain the missing pieces.
Madeleine L’Engle, the author credited with A Wrinkle in Time, was once quoted as saying: “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
- There are pictures
Whoever decided that grown-up books shouldn’t have illustrations made a big mistake! Lets be honest, everyone loves a good pictures, from Quentin Blake’s scribbles to Chris Riddell’s detailed sketches. Description and imagination are great, but sometimes you just want to gaze, opened-mouthed at an illustration. Even grown-ups like that.
- They have the best advice
The use of advice in adult fiction is somewhat limited. That could be because it often seems preachy and unnecessary, or it could be because we think we know it all. However, you won’t find this conundrum in children’s books, there are endless words of wisdom to help mould young minds as they grow. Though, don’t be fooled, these quotes can be just as helpful for adults who need a gentle reminder. I think we can all agree, Dr. Seuss is the best therapist that many of us could ever ask for. If you haven’t been graced with his wisdom, here’s a few words from his book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!:
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
- You can enter an entirely different world
Of course, you can do this with many amazing fantasy books meant for adults, but children’s books really have no boundaries. Nothing is too strange or unbelievable for kids and there is no end of imaginative places.
Also, it is more than acceptable to daydream about flying around on a broomstick after reading Harry Potter. Where’s, there aren’t very many grown-up books that lend to that freedom.
- The characters are eccentric
In ‘grown-up’ books you’ll find an assortment of crazy characters, from psychotic murderers to obsessive girlfriends. However, as strange as they are, they’re also eerily real. Arguably, grown-ups meet narcissists, nutters and pessimists everyday. Who wants to read about them in their spar time too, when you can read about hobbits and orcs!?
- There are good, old fashioned villains
Adult fiction has a tendency of killing our darlings and turning our other favourite characters into pure evil. No one is safe and no character is 100% good. This usually provides a great shock factor or a twist. On the other hand, children’s books are pretty blunt about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ people. There’s something comforting about knowing that the ‘bad guy’ is definitely the one that’s creeping around and causing havoc. It’s also incredibly satisfying when the villain finally gets their comeuppance!
- The mundane isn’t so mundane
In grown-up books, events that are taken seriously tend to be of a very serious nature; affairs, betrayal, death. However, in children’s books you can indulge the same intense emotions in everyday situations. For example, getting the wrong sandwich at lunch time or tripping up in front of everyone at school is just as terrible as it feels in real life.
- Kid’s books are blunt
Adult books tackle all sorts of tough subjects through metaphors and implications, whereas, kid’s books aren’t afraid to tackle the subjects head-on. They cover everything from adoption to sexuality and racism to death, with the matter-of-fact writing they deserve. There’s something refreshing about reading the truth with no trimmings. One of my favourite blunt books is Wonder, an honest and touching story about a boy with a severe facial deformity and how he copes with life.
- You can do voices
- Predictable Happy Endings
As we get older, we need more unexpected, strange endings. We like being surprised with twists, turns and disastrous finales. However, that doesn’t mean that we’v forgotten about those classic, cheerful endings that we were brought up on. Happy endings can give us that warm, fuzzy feeling, no matter how old we are!
Isabelle Sudron is a writer, blogger and avid list maker. She currently lives in Hanoi where she teaches English, drinks a lot of coffee and partakes in national dangerous driving. You can find more of her writing at sudrobelle.com.