What Is Available for Children Today?
In a time where children are hooked to screens, parents need to make a visible effort to guide their children towards books. This is not an admonishment of everything related to screens. Rather, a reminder that there is more out there. The days of Enid Blyton have long past and children have the opportunity to read so much more.
Literature for children has taken a turn – they have a chance to read a multitude of genres, with nuanced characters and themes that make them think. Stronger female characters are emerging, no longer the side-kicks to the lead characters or a weak voice whining in the background. Non-fiction highlighting the lives of positive female role models are being made available to children, giving them so many more people to look up to.
The exploration of emotions and the need to openly express oneself is being brought to the limelight – reminding the child reader that it’s okay to feel different emotions – all of which may not be happy. The protagonists of present day children’s literature are no longer flat, monotone, goody-two-shoes. With the spirit of adventure, exploration and a sense of curiosity, children are being asked to look beyond what is simply presented to them and question everything.
Growing up on a steady stream of stories which ended with “.. and the moral of the story is..” there is visibly so much more available. Stories are no longer bland tales, warning children of the consequences of naughty behaviour. Books are instead helping children navigate their own emotions, allowing them to make choices of their own and also decide how different things make them feel – rather than having these dictated to them.
Books come richly illustrated and beautifully designed, care and focus is poured into ensuring books sensitively approach a myriad of subjects. In India, indigenous art styles are being given relevance and their otherwise forgotten status, elevated.