Recently at the library bookstore, I picked up CELEBRATING CHILDREN'S BOOKS, edited by Betsy Hearne and Marilyn Kaye. I read it right away cover to cover. It includes essays by authors, editors, publishers, and reviewers of children's books. Here are some of the quotes that spoke to me:
whatever its form, is not an act of will, but an act of faith."
a story has ended rightly: [it is] not a question of happy or unhappy
ending, but the rightness of it."
small people enjoy reading – need to read – about big people;"
book is a voyage of discovery."
"[the author-reader relationship] is the relationship of willing listener
to loving narrator"
because I retain this ability to see myself as the center of the
universe, I can write for children. And because the adult part of me
can see how absolutely ridiculous I am when I am doing it, my
writings are readable."
good picture book should be true. That is to say: it should rise out
of the lives and passions of its creators."
child needs to sense that this world stretches far behind him and far
ahead of him, that societies change, that people evolve during their
own lives, that he himself is a blend of experience and memory. He
needs to know that the past as well as the present holds meaning. He
needs to listen to the tales of past human suffering and hope. The
young have trouble locating themselves in anything except the here
and now. But they can be helped to see over the walls of their own
historian he does not invent that past, but he must give it artistic
shape if he is to connect with the reader."
"Doing science means being curious,
asking questions. It means having a healthy skepticism toward
authority and announced truths. It is both a way of looking at the
world and a way of thinking. It values both fantasy and reality, and
provides a framework for telling the difference."
"To do science is to acknowledge that
the world is a complex place but that the complexity can be explored
and understood, and that there is order and unity in its diversity.
At its core, science is a hopeful activity."
"Curiosity is not limited to personal
inquiry. It is a good idea for an editor to ask questions and keep
asking them if there is a place in a manuscript that doesn't seem to
be exactly right."
"Read like a child, freshly; think like
an adult, fully."
John Rowe Townsend
"Not the least important thing about
good reviewing is that it's good for authors, who need to be
encouraged, stimulated, disciplined, needled, and challenged into
doing their best."