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Boys and Girls Forever: Children's Classics from Cinderella to Harry Potter (Anglais) Broché – 31 décembre 2002

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4,3 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires provenant des USA

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Description du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Are some of the world's most talented children's book authors essentially children themselves? In this engaging series of essays, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alison Lurie considers this theory, exploring children's classics from many eras and relating them to the authors who wrote them, including Little Women author Louisa May Alcott and Wizard of Oz author Frank Baum, as well as Dr. Seuss and Salman Rushdie. Analyzing these and many others, Lurie shows how these gifted writers have used children's literature to transfigure sorrow, nostalgia, and the struggles of their own experiences.

Biographie de l'auteur

Alison Lurie is the author of many highly praised novels, including The War Between the Tates, The Truth About Lorin Jones (Prix Femina Etranger), and Foreign Affairs (Pulitzer Prize for fiction). Her most recent book was Familiar Spirits. She teaches writing, folklore, and literature at Cornell University.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not her strongest work 17 mai 2008
Par Kaeli Vandertulip - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Children's literature can be examined from many different angles: what do the stories say about the mores of the time, what can we learn about the characters from their creators, how have these stories been received? Lurie's gift as an author is that she can present all of these ideas together to give a well-rounded look at children's literature and the authors who write it. Or, at least, she could do this in her last book, Don't Tell the Grown Ups. Something happened between that book and this.

Boys and Girls Forever examines several children's authors and their backgrounds, the stories they popularized, and their characters. Lurie also examines fairy stories, poetry, children's games, and illustrations. Unlike Don't Tell the Grownups, Boys and Girls forever is weakly written and disorganized. Lurie occasionally gives overviews of the author's works (juvenile and adult) and sometimes gives in-depth histories of the authors, but without the same intrigue she managed in her previous book. She continues to have glaring omissions in the authors she considers (still not Twain, Roald Dahl, Lois Lowry, Judy Blume, EB White). But even the ones she includes are desperatly lacking. Her essay on Dr. Seuss is one of the weakest I've read. She approached the authors in her last book with the same kind of passion children approach their works with. The only one she came even close to doing this with was Frank Baum. But her Dr. Seuss piece felt like filler. Actually, most of the book felt like filler. There's no common thread for the stories of these authors. I thought she was going to discuss the child-like mind these authors had to have, but she only rarely shoves in some mention of their minds as she writes.

The last chapters not about a certain author were weak, felt tacked on, and didn't continue any theme. It's as if she got a call from her editor and was told she needed more chapters and she knew she wasn't going to write another book on children's lit, so she threw in something weak about play, pictures, and fairy tales. It weakened her theme irreparably. Furthermore, her books would greatly benefit from illustrations-she loosely describes images from books, especially picture books, but without a familiarity of the actual work, her descriptions are not sufficient enough for the reader to visualize the pictures.

This book seemed cobbled together and less impassioned than Don't Tell the Grownups. If Don't Tell the Grown-Ups was Lurie's final term paper, Boys and Girls Forever was the grade she knew the professor was going to drop. She needed to find a theme and stick to it.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Your favorite childhood books, deconstructed! 24 novembre 2005
Par Manola Sommerfeld - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I just finished this, and loved it, loved it, loved it! Alison Lurie, besides being a great novelist, teaches Children's Literature at Cornell. This book "deconstructs" classics such as Little Women, The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, etc, with such acute observations that it was a great joy to read. Of course the book talks about Harry Potter and the criticism it has received from certain religious circles. This is not new in children's lit: The Wizard of Oz suffered the same kind of stigma. It was interesting to read how nothing is new in the realm of religious intolerance.

One of the chapters about which i was most conflicted was the one dealing with illustrations. Lurie acknowledges that it would be disingenous to expect fairy tales without pictures. However, images steal away from the imagination development that kids would enjoy otherwise. I read a fairytale a million years ago, where the princesses wore dresses "the color of time". I vividly remember the internal debate i had in my head trying to decide what color time would be (i settled on pearl grey). Pictures would not have given me that mental gymnastics. In a sense, i believe that fantasy is like gymnastics for the mind of a little one. Reality is what you see every day. Fantasy is what you need to come to terms as you grow up. To carry on a mental fight trying to reconcile what is real and what is fiction is a valuable exercise for a developing mind. And besides, adults are always available for "reality checks".
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Enjoyable and informative 31 mars 2006
Par L.S. Jaszczak - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I was very impressed with Ms. Lurie's previous book, Don't Tell the Grownups, because she recognized and applauded the inherent subversion of great children's literature. I would have chucked any book that the anti-Harry Potter forces liked, with namby-pamby characters who ALWAYS followed the rules - straight into the donation bin - only because I NEVER throw books in the garbage. This book picks up on the same theme, showing that books such as Little Women, which are considered "sweet and sentimental" today, were actually quite radical for the time they were written. She also looks at the lives of the authors and the influences on them. I certainly never realized that L. Frank Baum's wife and mother-in-law were outspoken feminists, which probably explains the presence of so many strong female characters in his work, sometimes to the detriment of the males.

The book also has chapters on a few authors with whom I have no acquaintance but whose work I might be interested in checking out someday, as well as several interesting essays on subjects such as playground lore, illustrators of children's books, and poetry by and for children.
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