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7 review for Behind Children's Books: Backstories & Revelations

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mary Judy

    Every single page, every essay in Behind Childrens Books offers something unique, intrinsic to childrens literature. The purpose here is to examine childrens’ books in a more meaningful way, to add depth and consideration to them. And it succeeds brilliantly. But it feels more like a conversation (or rather, many conversations) between friends. While the friend we are talking to is clearly an academic, the conversations are not. Their depth is exposed through anecdotes, through humour and good f Every single page, every essay in Behind Childrens Books offers something unique, intrinsic to childrens literature. The purpose here is to examine childrens’ books in a more meaningful way, to add depth and consideration to them. And it succeeds brilliantly. But it feels more like a conversation (or rather, many conversations) between friends. While the friend we are talking to is clearly an academic, the conversations are not. Their depth is exposed through anecdotes, through humour and good fun. These words are meant for general readers; anyone and everyone who loves childrens books, who wants to revisit them again and again and who wants to be inspired, amused and entertained.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Griswold

    *How were Ronald Reagan's political views shaped by his favorite childhood books? *What does Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West) say is the very heart of "The Wizard of Oz"? *And what explains the preponderance of bears in children's books and flying in African-American stories? In this amusing and insightful collection of 60 essays, Jerry Griswold reveals the backstories to beloved children's books. Drawing upon his hundreds of publications (in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, a *How were Ronald Reagan's political views shaped by his favorite childhood books? *What does Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West) say is the very heart of "The Wizard of Oz"? *And what explains the preponderance of bears in children's books and flying in African-American stories? In this amusing and insightful collection of 60 essays, Jerry Griswold reveals the backstories to beloved children's books. Drawing upon his hundreds of publications (in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere) and combining these with new work, he considers such authors as Hans Christian Andersen, Maurice Sendak, Beatrix Potter, and Roald Dahl and shows how their personal lives lie behind their work for the young. Examining both classic and contemporary children's literature, Behind Children's Books explains the real usefulness of nonsense, how the Land of Oz is actually California, and more. THE AUTHOR: Jerry Griswold is a leading authority on children's literature and a former professor (San Diego State University, UCLA, UCSD, the University of Connecticut, the National University of Ireland); for more than a decade, he was also Director of the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature. Griswold has published seven books–including Feeling Like a Kid: Childhood and Children's Literature (Johns Hopkins) and the prize-winning Audacious Kids: The Classic American Children's Story (Oxford, Penguin, Johns Hopkins). A frequent contributor to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, he has also written for Paris Review, Nation, New Republic, Boston Globe and other publications. SOME CLIPPINGS: "He manages that difficult thing in writing about children's literature: He manages to provide the reader with an interesting new intellectual angle on these books, without condescending to his material or diminishing its elusive and potent magic." - Michiko Kakutani, New York Times A lively critic in the arts, a public intellectual." - The Lion & the Unicorn "Great stay-at-home reading" - Kate Bernheimer ORDERING: Behind Children's Books is available now as a paperback ($9.95; 148 pp) or an e-book ($7.95) on Amazon. How were Ronald Reagan's political views shaped by his favorite childhood books? What does Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West) say is the very heart of "The Wizard of Oz"? And what explains the preponderance of bears in children's books and flying in African-American stories? In this amusing and insightful collection of 60 essays, Jerry Griswold reveals the backstories to beloved children's books. Drawing upon his hundreds of publications (in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere) and combining these with new work, he considers such authors as Hans Christian Andersen, Maurice Sendak, Beatrix Potter, and Roald Dahl and shows how their personal lives lie behind their work for the young. Examining both classic and contemporary children's literature, Behind Children's Books explains the real usefulness of nonsense, how the Land of Oz is actually California, and more. THE AUTHOR: Jerry Griswold is a leading authority on children's literature and a former professor (San Diego State University, UCLA, UCSD, the University of Connecticut, the National University of Ireland); for more than a decade, he was also Director of the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature. Griswold has published seven books–including Feeling Like a Kid: Childhood and Children's Literature (Johns Hopkins) and the prize-winning Audacious Kids: The Classic American Children's Story (Oxford, Penguin, Johns Hopkins). A frequent contributor to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, he has also written for Paris Review, Nation, New Republic, Boston Globe and other publications. SOME CLIPPINGS: "He manages that difficult thing in writing about children's literature: He manages to provide the reader with an interesting new intellectual angle on these books, without condescending to his material or diminishing its elusive and potent magic." - Michiko Kakutani, New York Times A lively critic in the arts, a public intellectual." - The Lion & the Unicorn "Great stay-at-home reading" - Kate Bernheimer ORDERING: Behind Children's Books is available now as a paperback ($9.95; 148 pp) or an e-book ($7.95) on Amazon. Preview the Table of Contents and sample pages by clicking on "Look Inside." Preview the Table of Contents and sample pages by clicking on "Look Inside."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This is a very interesting collection of essays by Jerry Griswold giving the back stories to many children’s books. He focuses on many of his personal favorites. His writing is easy to follow and offers fun insights into many of the books we read growing up. We learn what is ‘the deal’ with all those Bear stories and big surprise, California really is the land of OZ. This is a good read for those of us who were readers as kids and for teachers too.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lysslyss

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lucas

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tim Nason

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