Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A little literature with your cocoa pops?

An ambitious, outside the (cereal) box idea to promote childhood reading is coming to breakfast tables in the UK.

Publishers Puffin have partnered with UK supermarket chain Asda and the estate of beloved children's author Roald Dahl and will publish excerps from some of his most popular titles on the backs of 10 million cereal boxes.

Managing director of Puffin-owned Penguin Children's Books Francesca Dow, said she hoped the snipets from perenial favourites such as The Twits, Witches, The BFG and Danny the Champion of the World, would spur children on to wanting to read the whole book.

They have chose extracts that are "the most immediately exciting bit, something that plunges you straight into the story," she said.

So......what do you think of this novel approach to promoting literacy? I've got the proverbial devil and angel on my shoulder about this one. Let me explain.

On the one hand, anything that gets kids interested in reading is a brilliant thing and if that happens to be a packet of cornflakes then so be it.

However on the other hand, the purist in me thinks it's kind of tarnishing the "Roald Dahl brand" by having his stories printed on a weety box. It's not really...becoming of this amazingly imaginative, talanted man. Or so says the book snob in me anyway.

But wait, there's more.

Okay so Roald Dahl is a tried and true author that kids lap up like I do lattes. Why not use undiscovered/up and coming authors instead, to introduce children to a wide variety of writers and genres? After all, most children are going to be exposed to the magic of Dahl anyway, so why not try something different?

I'd love to know what you think.

1 comment:

S. Toogod Tobetrue said...

Roald Dahl was an amazingly talented man who used those talents to find the lowest common demoninator every chance he could, if it would give him a chance to connect to one more child.

Look at "Great Glass Elevator" - surely the Vermicious Knids are just something weird thrown out to keep kids reading. They certainly don't develop as characters, nor do they develop the overall plot in any way.

No, Dahl is a showman and a huckster. This would suit him perfectly.