What is the difference between mature fiction and children’s literature? Is it the closet-filled monsters and things that go bump in the night? Could it be the lack of romance and sexual tension? Or is it merely that children take the front stage as the protagonist?
Every author would have to agree that in some way, children’s literature deals with the same amount of content mature literature does. Everything from a depressed donkey in the Hundred-acre Wood, to Aslan’s betrayal, we see that certain pieces call children to ponder and reflect upon the same things we adults are called to reflect upon. In fact, it was Dr. Joy of Homerton College who has written numerous pieces on the effects of children’s literature who boldly stated “…these [children’s] books can tell us far more about the adult world than they can about the children’s.”
The point being, some of the greatest short stories and printed work are children’s books which don’t hold back any punches. I don’t know about you, but my list of nostalgic books as a child are some of the heaviest in their message and content. And it was there within those pages as I escape to treasured islands, that I was being equipped to make my own choices of good and evil. Witnessing Charlotte spin her web was essentially witnessing imaginative lectures of vice and virtue. Essentially this isn’t a post of an opinion, but more of gratitude. Because now, as a father I’m truly thankful as I open hardback books filled with color and share these struggles and victories with my own children. It was here, in this reflection I set out to create my own children’s book. It was close to two years ago I sat down and like all Pansters, I just started writing. I had no plot, no antagonists, no ideas just a whole bag of boredom. Boredom of waiting for children’s literature to pass by my desk, so I could illustrate it, paint it, then print it. But after years of being an illustrator with no luck of partnering with an author, I became the author. Desiring to be like the authors of my youth, ones that don’t hold back any punches and with vivd imagination can give cautionary tales in a digestible form. I can only hope COTTONMOUTH & THE RIVER is just that. A story of hope and redemption, in a world of fantasy and wonder. Authors, if you haven’t in a while I encourage you to get in your sweats, sit in your comfiest chair with a glass of boxed wine, grab WIND IN THE WILLOWS and enjoy.
Giveaway is a copy of COTTONMOUTH & THE RIVER and a summer fun swim pack!
Meet Freddie Cottonmouth – A Boy Who Loves the River, Big Adventures, and a Furry Beast named Tug.
Tug loves taking Freddie on wild adventures—trips to the moon, building castles, or catching fireflies with Freddie riding on his wide furry back. When Freddie finds a mysterious egg, Tug makes him promise never to eat it. But Freddie is about to discover that broken promises come at a great price.
This is the rare children’s story—both bold and tender and brimming with moments of great risk, adventure, and heart. Combining the artistic wonder of Where the Wild Things Are with the timeless storytelling of The Polar Express, this story will capture both the imagination and the intelligence of children and their parents as it sheds light on the power of sin, sacrifice, and redemption.
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