Here's the publisher's blurb: Have children ever really had a literature of their own? In Sticks and Stones, Jack Zipes explores children's literature, from the grissly moralism of Slovenly Peter to the hugely successful Harry Potter books, and argues that despite common assumptions about children's books, our investment in children is paradoxically curtailing their freedom and creativity. Sticks and Stones is a forthright and engaging book by someone who cares deeply about what and how children read.
Here's Zipes... "To attract children and adults as consumers of literature, the very nature of the book - its design and contents-began to change. Gradually books began to be produced basically to sell and resell themselves and to make readers into consumers of brand names...(p. 6)...Children's books are formulaic and banal, distinguishable from another only by their brand labels. Yet book publishers argue that as long as these books get children to read, this is a good in itself...(p.7)
More Zipes: "I do not mean to slight the reviewers of children's books in local newspapers or in the popular press, but I have rarely read a negative review of a children's book or a book for young adults. It appears that everything and anything is good for children's minds and eyes. Good is rarely defined, though the reviewer may appear to have a firm grasp on what is appropriate literature ..."
I am reading this book and thinking about my field from Zipes' perspectives. So far I think he has strong opinions and arguments for them. And yes, the examples I posted are extreme but...What do you think? Lurk or go ahead and say it...