Do you prefer your children's book character to be obedient or contrary?March 30, 2016

You won't admit it, but you were drawn to Mike Teavee. Watching rugby would be good enough. You glimpsed a few episodes of "My Kitchen Rules", as this was one of your sister's favourite shows. But you were bored after ten minutes or less. (You were interested in cuisine, but you weren't the kind of person that must sample every menu being served on the table.) "Neighbours" would be your mother's favourite TV show. In fact, you recalled it as young as your memory would allow to. She didn't pay attention to your remarks, though. (Soap opera wasn't your cup of tea.) No one in the household was interested in "Home And Away", but your sister did watched one episode where Ian Thorpe appeared as guest star.

You weren't a spoiled child, unlike Veruca Salt. And you don't fancy a girl like Violet. But you must admit that you wouldn't be interested in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" if not for these children. They were contrary to what many adults would expect of their little ones. But a children's book would be anything but normal. This was where Roald Dahl stood out, his wicked sense of humor was hard to suppress. Then again, you should know about British know. (Your father grew up in Brighton.)

Either/Or

When you penned a paper on children's book, you thought it should be either/or. It could be special because the lead character was an obedient boy or a curious girl with a rebellious streak in her character. You were thinking of a Dickens book or Lyra Delacqua. Let's be specific.

A good boy does end up first. You didn't understand your father's soft spot for Charles Dickens, as he could relate to Pip. Not that you knew he was an orphan, but he did talked about his humble background. You could hardly relate, as the sunny weather in Sydney and the cold British summer weren't the same. (You found this out one year ago.) You knew about the law of attraction, and in the case of the young orphans in Dickens's books, their good heart would lead them to the right people. You don't need to be reminded about life, where you must take the good with the bad. But being kind can be cool.

Philip Pullman won't pen “His Dark Materials” if Lyra was a goody two shoes. You wouldn't call Lyra Belacqua a bad girl. As a matter of fact, her curiosity brought her to places beyond her wildest imagination. Such action, which could be considered unacceptable in the strictest terms, would force her into puberty earlier than she was supposed to. This would reveal the gray area depending on the outcome.

You knew Charles Dickens wasn't a writer of Children's book, while Philip Pullman's trilogy would be classified as High fantasy. But Mowgli would be a good example. You have read "The Jungle Book" a number of times, but it was hard to tell if Mowgli was a good one. Maybe Rudyard Kipling's tale would be an exception. You thought of another young character. But it took you long. You would ask your mother about your next holiday.

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