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'Kids' Stuff' or Good Entertainment?

Opinion
Posted by: Kristin
January 25, 2004, 08:27 AM

Newsweek is the latest in a long line of articles to speculate as to why adults are increasingly drawn to children's literature. One opinion comes from Brand consultant Rebecca Hamblin, who attributes adult interest with childhood to a mixture of 'nostalgia' and 'unwillingness to accept responsibility and uncertainty about the future.'
"It's an easy way to hold onto things you feel secure about," she says. "You can escape into play."

Or

maybe grown-ups like children's entertainment simply because it's better than their own. Since writers can't fall back on sex, romance or profanity, the storytelling has to be dramatic and clear. Critic Francis Spufford, who reread all his childhood favorites while writing his memoir, "The Child That Books Built," believes that kids' books fill a need for compelling stories currently missing in adult fiction. He blames modernism for encouraging experimentation at the expense of a sound narrative. "What's happening now is a return to the story in its strongest sense, to the primal excitement of wanting to know what happens next."

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