17 July 2008

Gurus at war--the battle over Stuart Little

Here is a fascinating article about the ideological battle between Anne Carol Moore, the extremely influential librarian/children's book critic/expert who is credited with single-handedly inventing children's librarianship, and Katherine White, wife of E.B. White and children's book editor for the New Yorker. The touchstone of their battle--the publication of Mr. White's odd little book, Stuart Little. There is much to admire and despise about Moore, a woman who was clearly ahead of her time in terms of service provision but believed too much of her own press. As for Stuart Little itself, I was underwhelmed by it as a child, but there is no denying its place in the canon, despite what Moore thought of its suitability (not sure what either of them would think of the fact, though, that a Google image search of Stuart Little brings up pages of movie images, long before any of Garth William's wonderful illustrations.)

Just goes to show you, children's literature isn't for wimps!

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