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Book Review: Why You Should Read Children’s Books

It was almost as if this book was following us around the bookstores of London, almost like a lost puppy. There it was, near the cash register at every store we visited (which was, frankly, too many to count), waiting for us to finally adopt buy it. (Who could resist that cute cover?) At The London Review Bookshop, I finally gave in.

gordon with book

Boy am I’m glad that I did! What an utterly charming, earnest, and convincing book. The author, Katherine Rundell, makes a compelling argument that adults should allow themselves to enjoy children’s fiction. We can rediscover our childhood selves (with the benefit of wisdom earned) and enjoy reading for pleasure, not obligation. As I read her arguments, memories of the joy that the Scholastic Book Catalog would bring to the school year came rushing back.

So pick up a copy of Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise, then the next time you’re in a bookstore, stop and linger (but not creepily, of course) in the young fiction category. I dare you to allow yourself to pick out a title. You have my, and Rundell’s, permission to do so.


Craig Conley

Children's books can also be used to trigger altered states of consciousness. Dr. Raymond Moody uses Dr. Seuss books to replicate the experience of the ancient Mystery Cults -- reading just a few pages of the nonsense rhymes, in the setting of Moody's "Psychomanteum" (a dark chamber with a specially angled mirror, used as a sort of sacred space for communing with departed loved ones or exploring other dimensions) establishes a frame of mind for new and extraordinary perspectives. My own theory, based upon Moody's data, is that if stage magicians brought back the formal use of mysterious "magic words" in their presentations, their audiences' experience of genuine wonderment would be greater due to the triggering of an eerier state of consciousness.

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