Missing Innocence

22 Nov

‘Minding my business,’ I stumbled upon an enticing entry in writer/editor Andrew Hearst’s Panopticist blog. I giggled at the assumption that the cute animals on the cover of Sophie Schmid and Sabine Praml’s picture book One Two Three Pull! are engaged in an act of bodily sharing.

This is a serious accusation. Obviously a joke, it’s one that makes you wonder if the illustrator, editor, book seller, and even officials at Barnes & Noble ever watched a late night HBO special on the ‘birds and the bees.’ Maybe they’re just that innocent. I’m jealous.

I’ve made it a hobby of looking for a joke in everything. Some people tell me to “grow up,” or “act mature” but that’s just the thing, “I have,”  and “I do.” If I were still a kid, a good innocent kid, I wouldn’t have the life experience to pull from to make such goofy/pervish assumptions.

This is why I love writing for children. They aren’t looking for ulterior motives or innuendo. Kids simply want to be entertained. If I’m writing for adults, I have to worry about double meanings and offending someone. If only children held jobs in the publishing world.

When writing or illustrating for youngsters do so with innocent eyes. No matter what you create, someone has the ability to put a controversial spin on it. And if they do, instead of being defensive, laugh it off and perhaps enjoy the royalties of a boost in sales.

Innocent imaginating everyone!

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One Response to “Missing Innocence”

  1. auntbethany November 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Heck, one could even argue that they’re discriminating against that poor canary, who is not included in the line. Sheesh…I’m sure all of our beloved children’s books could be re-analyzed in this light. It DID provide a nice morning laugh, though. Thanks!

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