How old is young?

Can or should authors only write books for children if they themselves are still young or childlike enough? And when is ‘old’ still considered ‘young enough’? In the book Hoe oud is jong? (How old is young?), Vanessa Joosen advocates for greater awareness of the concept of age as a social construct. She provides insight into important… Continue reading How old is young?

Powerful at all ages

The link between age and power has been studied from various perspectives in children’s literature. While some scholars mainly focus on the adult’s power, others discuss power on the child’s part, like Clémentine Beauvais, who argues that a child’s ‘might’ lies in the future that lies ahead of them. In his broader research project, Leander… Continue reading Powerful at all ages

Also appropriate for adults

When Joke Van Leeuwen states that her books are for “starting and other humans”, she means that she writes her books with the belief that both children and adults can enjoy them. Rather than seeing children as “less developed” or “radically different”, the children’s book author believes in the kinship model (Gubar) – the idea that children… Continue reading Also appropriate for adults

Perfectly imperfect mothers: breaking the “Good Mom Myth”

In western, contemporary societies, a woman is considered a “good mother” when she is at all times emotionally present and selfless, placing her children’s desires and needs before her own. Although this image of “good mothering” is often reproduced and thereby affirmed in children’s literature, so-called “alter-tales” – counterstories that voice different experiences of motherhood… Continue reading Perfectly imperfect mothers: breaking the “Good Mom Myth”