It had been tackled in the previous is that adult authorship of books for children is a practice that society has accepted willingly throughout the history of children’s literature. To reiterate, most do not question whether the adult is misappropriating a child’s voice or perception; rather, people feel that every author should have the liberty to write a children’s book because he/she has experienced childhood. Furthermore, some would argue that the adult has an even better understanding of childhood than most children do because he/she is now beyond that stage and can therefore make more astute and objective observations. Only recently have we begun to ask whether an adult’s memory of “childhood” is valid or reliable.
I’d mentioned two arguments on how children may be affected and influenced by adults through children’s literature. First, children’s literature sentimentalized childhood and second, children are presented as ignorant and powerless. Third, which I will be elaborating now, is that in children’s literature, children’s behavior must be controlled. Another form of control is asserted through verbal assault; the child is reprimanded or corrected so that he/she will adapt a desired behavior. A child is expected to obey to what the moral books dictate them to do.
But is all children’s literature entirely evil?
We presume that children are incapable of understanding the world mainly because they are in the primary stage of language acquisition. They therefore seem to lack adequate skills to observe the world and to express their thoughts using words. Consequently, the adult author assumes the position of “speaker” for silent children. However, while trying to present the child’s voice, the adult often uses that voice to promote the inadequacy of children. This result, however, is not always intentional. Some authors sincerely attempt to re-construct childhood in order to better understand the experience of being a child.
Some children’s books have left a legacy of condescension towards children, but we must consider whether all children’s literature has the same negative impact. Clearly, we must carefully examine texts for children with the realization that they exert a considerable amount of influence over a child’s perception and behavior. Adult authority has both negative and positive effects. The domination of children through sentimentalization and verbal correction is often apparent; however, we can also observe the empowerment of children through adult writing. Thus we cannot condemn all books that are written by adults. Furthermore, if we restrict the adult author to writing only about his/her immediate context, we will destroy genuine attempts to understand children and their lives. The freedom to write about any situation, using any voice, allows us to see the world through another’s eyes. In turn, this new perspective gives the child reader the power to examine life with a diversified soul.