Smart Quill Editorial About the Editor

By Kids, For Kids

Posted on June 10th, 2011

It was World Book Day in March this year, which is the perfect “publicity time” for all sorts of book-related ventures. The biggest announcement was made by the Guardian, who established a website for children’s books. The difference with this site is that the content will be entirely managed by children. I thought, some months on, that it would be useful to examine the site and see its progress.

Predictably, most of the books under discussion and reviewed are for older readers: The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time (a rather famous crossover) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula to name but two. It raises the question, how do we judge books for children who not yet able to articulate their own preferences? Picture books are especially effected by this conundrum because they are for such young children – and editors know it. We cannot consult ourselves as to what works. We have to be someone other than ourselves in choosing what to publish.

It becomes a bit existential when you think about it too much! But pro-active review and networking sites like www.guardian.co.uk/childrens-books-site will no doubt prove invaluable to editors and authors alike.