Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy it expecting bookish charm and whimsy, 18 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Child that Books Built (Paperback)
This certainly wasn't what I expected - just proving the old adage that `You can't judge a book by its cover.' Where I expected charm and books and childhood pleasures, instead I found an intense, philosophical analysis of the way children respond to books, with a heavy emphasis on psychoanalytic ideas.

I had to skip over some of the first chapter (unheard of for me) because it was unintelligible, but it did improve after a while. Once the books became more familiar it was more enjoyable and easier to follow - for example, there was an interesting section on Laura Ingalls Wilder's `Little House' books, and the place of the prairie and the town in her novels. There was also a good section later on concerning the shift from children's books to adult reading, and the role of the classics in bridging the gap. Knowing more about these novels again made this part easier to understand and appreciate.

Despite the better areas, the overly abstract academic analysis made this a much heavier book than it needed to be. There was also a decidedly self-obsessed air about it, and the familiar self-consciousness that is noticeable in many memoirs. An average read - and certainly not an easy one.
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3.7 out of 5 stars (19 customer reviews)
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Location: Derbyshire, UK

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