Two recent posts on I.N.K. (Interesting Non-fiction for Kids) caught my eye. First, this one on graphic novels. I am such a fan of these books. Both for their (usually) stunning art and also for their ability to capture the attention of the somewhat reluctant 11-year-old reader I live with. She is currently into the second book in The Fog Mound series, Faradawn, which Anna Lewis mentions in her post. Bring 'em on, I say. Sure there will be some dreck, but I think (hope?) publishers will take their time with this genre and only produce the best.
And, following on the heels of the idea of nature-deficit disorder our children may be suffering, Jennifer Armstrong muses on Nature (Book) Deficit. I totally agree with Armstrong's wonder at why those current darlings--the "dangerous" books for boys and girls -- are so popular.
Both of these present outdoor activities, skills and games that used to be the common currency of childhood as nostalgia. A chapter on snowballs? On skipping stones? Is outside now so outlandish that children need instructions for even its most casual use? Does this presentation imply that although outside may have been the playground of long ago, it is too quaint to be taken very seriously now?
When I looked at them, I went "What?" What's new about these books? These sorts of activitites have been trotted out in book after book for decades. Where have these people been that they find these books innovative?