Friday, September 20, 2013

My Q Opening Essay

I've had a few people ask for the text of my essay - pro KidsLit essay- from the September 19th episode of Q on CBC Radio.

Here it is.

It'a always nice to come sit in the Q chair.

I'm usually holed up in my attic writing books.

Kids books.

I want to talk about kids books for a second.

There are lots of stories out there right now about Gillers, Bookers, Westons... so on. Canada Reads will kick off in a few months. Books are front page news, finally.


Did you know that the big Canadian Children's book awards were also announced?

Probably not.

Did you know that Jon Klassen - Winnipeg born, Toronto trained - recently won the Caldecott medal for "This is not my Hat"... the Oscars of kids books - and that one of his other titles was a runner-up?

Probably not.

Other countries seem to do a better job of celebrating these achievements. Maurice Sendak was a national treasure in the US. In England, "kids" authors sit on shelves next to "regular" authors, and receive about the same critical attention.

Canada stacks up against these countries with our Munsch's, Oppels, Marie-Louise Gays, Jon Klassens.

Where's our Canada Reads for kids?

I know what you're saying right now. 

Kiddy Litter - Too simplistic, simplified, lots of cuteness or goofiness.

Not true.

The same things were said about graphic novels just a few years ago. But once people began accepting those as a separate genre, and not books-lite, the snobbishness disappeared.

Anyone who think kids books are simple and silly hasn't read any lately.

You should.

Go check out

Click on kids.

And see what all the fuss should be about.