I brought some older children's books recently. Sometimes I think about writing for kids--I've thought about this for at least a few years and I sporadically look at kid's books and consider further.
This week I have on hand 3 vintage kid's books that I had a fondness for in my nostaligic memory but had not read for many years. The books were Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Swiss Family Robinson, and Heidi. I started to read tonite from Swiss Family Robinson and it was like my heart just went--WOW-- we have changed so much!!
I'll just copy the first paragraphs here so folks can see this. It amazed me.
Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 1-- Shipwrecked and Alone:
"For many days we had been tempest-tossed. Six times had the darkness closed over a wild and terrific scen, and returning light as often brought but renewed distress, for the raging strom increased in fury until on the seventh day all hope was lost.
WE were driven completely out of our course; no conjecture could be formed as to our whereabouts. The crew had lost heart and were utterly exhausted by incessant labor.
The riven masts had gone by the board, leaks had been sprung in every direction, and the water, which rushed in, gained upon us rapidly.
Instead of reckless oaths, the seamen now uttered frantic cries to God for mercy, mingled with strange and often ludicrous vows, to be performed should deliverance be granted.
Every man on board alternately commended his soul to his Creator, and strove to bethink himself of some means of saving his life.
My heart sank as I looked round upon my family in the midst of these horrors. Our four young sons were overpowered by terror. "Dear children," said I, "if the Lord will, He can save us even from this fearful peril; if not, let us calmly yield our lives into His hand, and think of the joy and blessedness of finding ourselves forever and ever united in that happy home above."
At these words my weeping wife looked bravely up, and, the boys clustered round her, she began to cheer and enourage them with calm and loving words. I rejoiced to see her fortitude, though my heart was ready to break as I gazed upon my deer ones."....
It almost made me just be silent to reflect on this. I have a pretty good idea what sort of thing is written for kids these days. I do work in a library afterall.
Let me assure you--its nothing like that.