First and foremost, welcome to my first blog. I am truly excited about it.
Blogs, I have come to discover are a most convenient and fun way of writing. Whilst the art of blogging is a relatively new form of the ever-evolving forms of literature there is something to be said about the timeless ability of it all.
What I want to achieve from my blog is not only a form of writing experience for myself, but also to any readers out there who have an interest in children’s literature; I want them to feel that they can visit my blog and find a genuine review of a book whether this is for their own pleasure or to pass on to their child.
These reviews will vary and ultimately, I want my blog set up so that it is organised by genre making it accessible to those who visit. I certainly do not want to give those who visit a false sense of excitement when they see the name of my blog, hoping to enter a serene virtual space only to find a jumble of words lost in a genre-palooza.
So, why children’s literature? And why now? Well i have recently graduated from a B.A Honours degree in English and might I say what a pleasure it was to study. Without realising, I honed my writing skills, I became a keen debater and I fell in love with the written word. During this time I also got a part-time job in Waterstones which I just adore. It is possibly the best retail job, simply because it does not put upon you the strains and stresses of any other retail job I have had the displeasure of working. Certainly there are expectations and commitments, but my job focuses on one thing and one thing only…the books.
And of course, we each have our own favourite parts of the shop. For a long time the Cookery section and the Children’s section were locked in a tense battle over who would become my favourite place and in the end, the Children’s section won out simply because it keeps that magical feeling throughout the year. The Cookery section for me seems to sparkle most only during the Christmas season.
I just love Children’s literature and the giant ‘Where’s Wally?’ figure placed high above the picture books. What’s wonderful about children’s literature, I believe, is the disctinctions of the old and the new but both flourish so well together. These days we have Beast Quest in amongst Mrs Pepperpot and Twilight leaning against Stig of the Dump but what becomes apparent when helping customers find their perfect book is that there is room for both the old traditions and the creating of the new.
Certainly my love for the children’s book would not be so strong would it not be for John Cook who is the children’s specialist in my particular branch. His knowledge is astounding and he is a simple, no nonsense, genuine man, who nonetheless can inspire greatness in each and every person and who can read people so well, it is spooky. He himself is a budding author who can be very proud of what he has written and I wish many great things upon him. Perhaps one day when he is far too rich and important to be seen amongst the lowly bookseller, I can beg him to come and do a book signing in my own bookstore, aptly named ‘FiveMinutesPeace’ in homage to Jill Murphy’s wonderfully simple yet telling tales of the Large family. Of course this is just the dream, but it is my dream all the same.
So back to the blog in hand. I will aim for a few updates a week and whilst I am always one for nostalgia, I will also be writing reviews for new picture books and reprints so that the children of today, in years to come can pass on to their own kids, their copies of the books they once loved. Because really, that’s what it’s all about. For now, i’m not interested in writing about politics, or world affairs or the environment. It is just not my calling. My calling, I know in my heart of hearts is books and it is just the most wonderful, exhilarating and enlightening feeling to go into a children’s bookstore and find a book you had completely forgotten and remember it, simply for it’s front cover or illustration or particular moment in the story. A book can embue such vital, precious memories and I am certainly evangelical about my passion for each and every children’s book out there.