Boys And Girls Forever Paperback – 1 Apr 2004
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'The best book on the classics of the genre I have ever read' John Bayley, New York Review of Books
From the Publisher
A collection of beautiful, brilliant and entertaining pieces about children's literature, ranging from Little Women to Harry Potter, from Dr Seuss to Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In each short chapter dedicated to a writer, Lurie gives fascinating aspects of their life and, in some instances, she makes a connection with their literary work. We learn about L. Frank Baum’s emancipated female’s characters in his Wizard of Oz books, inspired by Matilda Gage, his mother in law who was an active member of the feminist movement and who encouraged Baum to send his first manuscript to the publishers.
Other chapter explores the Moomintroll books by Finish author Tove Jansson where Lurie makes and interesting comparison to the Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories; The are also whole chapters dedicated to the Dr Seuss’ books; Harry Potter; Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Other sections deal particularly with fairy tales, children’s games, poetry and illustrations in children’s books. Disappointedly enough this last section is mainly devoted to illustrators of fairy tales and predominantly on Maurice Sendak and does not give a balanced perspective of the work of many artist, such as, Tenniel, Shepard, Garth Willimans, Gorey and many others who would have deserved, at least, an acknowledgement.Read more ›
Lurie's style, despite her fearsome academic references is not intimidating at all and these are quite chatty, informal essays which even a rank novice to the world of children's literature could take on board with ease. She is clearly passionate about her subject and her interest and enthusiasm shines through.
One of the most interesting things for me is that Lurie is an American and her knowledge of the genre of her own country's writers is naturally more comprehensive. Her essays on Alcott and Frank L. Baum spring to mind in particular. Her writing on English writers is not deficient by any means and she has some thought provoking things to say, but there are little gaps in her knowledge which show up, particularly in her chapter on childhood games in the playground. She is the first to acknowledge this, and I don't raise it as a criticism, more as an observation.
I think the weakest of her chapters is on Tove Jansson's Moomintroll books, which feels rather rushed and unfinished in places. The result as a whole though is a fascinating book which is well written, well balanced and should be of interest to anyone who is in the process of rediscovering children's literature as an adult.