Friday, April 26, 2013

Do Judge a Book By Its Cover!

 As I sort through favorite juvenile fiction titles from childhood, looking for stories that would meet with the approval of my six year-old son, I have found that a good number of childhood favorites have been repackaged for today’s audiences. While I understand the marketing strategy behind the new covers with their bright, cartoony characters, I can’t help but think that the books have lost a little of their appeal. Take Ramona, for example, I have to favor the scritchy haired girl in Louis Darling’s pen and ink drawings. She looks and feels like Ramona to me. The new Ramona just doesn’t have the same attitude.  

Then there is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.  The original illustrations were done by MauriceSendak of Wild Things fame.  Why on earth anyone felt the need to redo those pictures is a mystery to me.
Now, I am not against change altogether. I know of several wonderful series that aren’t getting the circulation they deserve because their covers lack appeal for today’s audiences. (The Black Cauldron series and The Dark Is Rising series are the first that come to mind.) It makes me wonder if today’s children really are that different from my 6 year-old self and how that came to be. Maybe I’ll do my own research with my son to see which pictures will be featured in his childhood memories.
You can be sure that I will be reading some of the originals to my son. Thankfully they are still available here in the Fauquier Library Collection. I know it is just a matter of personal preference, but I do feel that the pictures help make the characters come alive.  Sometimes you do have to judge a book by its cover after all.

Jennifer @ Bealeton

No comments:

Post a Comment