21.9.10

Young People's Texts

There is a very interesting article about my favourite publisher, Simply Read Books, in Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures 2.1.  The article is by Carole Scott and begins:
As I delved into the box of books that arrived from  Canadian publisher Simply Read, I was immediately impressed by the wide variety I found. Not only were  the books of all sizes, shapes, formats, and designs, they also spanned multiple genres and audiences. Primarily picture books or illustrated books, they included board books for very young readers, books with edgy and often philosophical humour, classics with striking new illustrations, books with historical and/or cultural implications, and mysterious books exploring the surreal and twisting perspective.[... ] I found many works that are graphically startling and inventive, and many that are thoughtful and provocative, involving complex messages regarding human values and philosophical perspectives. The more accessible books for younger children have bright visuals and evocative language and sounds, and many are educational in various ways. It is not surprising that the books have garnered a significant number of awards and honourable mentions from across the world.
It's lovely to see such a thorough examination of the work produced by the press since its inception in 2001.  I think that anyone who speaks to publisher Dimiter Savoff about his work with Simply Read is bound to be impressed by his enthusiasm, discernment and dedication.  I know that when their first book, a stunningly beautiful edition of Pinocchio, appeared in 2002 and I interviewed him in my role as a columnist for the Vancouver Sun, I could tell that he was a publisher unlike any I had ever met before.  (Full disclosure:  I was, in fact, so impressed that I was determined to publish something with the press.  And I know every parent thinks their babies are beautiful but my two books with Simply Read truly are and I can't wait to see the  third.)


                          Portrait of the publisher as a young person



The Jeunesse journal is published by the  Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures which is out of the University of Winnipeg.  And when I have more time, I'll be having a good old browse around their site.  I like that use of people in their title.  Once, when approaching the schoolyard my son and I spoke simultaneously.  "Look at all the kids," I said, while he said: "look at all the people!"  Oh yes, I realised, children think of themselves as people, don't they?

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