Tuesday 4 May 2010

Being stroppy about politics and picture books

I have just reviewed David McKee's Denver for Write Away - and this really was Stroppy Author in stroppy mood. There is no discussion space on Write Away for it, so if you want to take issue with the review please feel free to talk about it in the comments here.

I plan to write an article on censorship and books for very young children, as I feel uncomfortable saying I don't think it should have been published. I need to untangle what I think about that, as I am generally anti-censorship. No time to write it this week, but any comments you have that could feed into my thinking and anticipate objections will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, kind blog-readers.



  1. Great review and I agree absolutely with you. Whilst censorship is odious, political propaganda aimed at children is even worse. And yet ... what about all those books advocating green living etc? Of course we know they're right, but perhaps this could also be viewed as propaganda (from those wicked/naive no-good tree-huggers) by the far-right eco-ostriches? But nevertheless, the clumsy demonisation of the stranger in this story feels so wrong, and as you mentioned, the illustrations would probably have even more impact on young, impressionable minds. Scary stuff.

  2. Kit, I'm not aware of any story books that push green living by disguising it in a spiked narrative. It's the insidiousness of it that is so distasteful in Denver. If it were openly political and non-fiction I would not object - I would not like the book, but would not feel it wrong to publish it.