Child or adult, what does it matter?

Views on age not only determine the stories in children’s books, but also have an impact on the field of children’s literature. A lot of attention is paid to the dynamics between children and adults. While you could consider children and adults as two different age groups, you could also see them as part of a continuum made up of an array of age phases that gradually merge into each other and that show many similarities. The ‘difference model’, ‘deficit model’, and ‘kinship model’ are approaches that are used to research such topics. Bart Moeyaert has always criticised the distinction between children’s literature and adult literature. Throughout his writing career he has been through different age stages while expressing varying age norms. As he got older, he put more emphasis on the kinship between children and adults. In his novels, he depicts adults who missed out on a lot because they didn’t spend enough time with their children, but he also evokes role models who show what is to be gained by the kinship between young and old.

Joosen, Vanessa. ‘Van kind naar kinship : de constructie van leeftijd in de literatuuropvattingen van Bart Moeyaert in de loop van zijn schrijverschap’.

Spiegel der Letteren 63: 1-2 (2021), p. 89-112.