Monday, May 25, 2009

Violence in children's illustration

There's a terrific piece over at the BBC about putting the violence back into children's illustration. There's some excellent points made (although, it's disturbing how gender stereotypes continue so strongly - there is an element of truth, I guess, but surely there are girls who draw scenes of bloody mayhem too?). My only concern is that there are a lot of articles and essays today about 'returning' violence to children's literature. Of course, violence has always been there. It never went away - we simply grew older and more forgetful. And just as children's literature needs violence, it needs hope, joy, kindness, compassion and so on. The problem is, in the focus on sex and violence, people often forget the balance. This happens in respect to fairy tales. Yes, they should be darker, but they should also retain their lightness. The really good fairy tales always had both.

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