Feb 7, 2012

Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Dickens!

Deborah Hopkinson; illustrated by John Hendrix  
Random House Children's Books 
$17.99, 40 pages

Two hundred years ago today a boy was born in Old London. He was only one of countless boys and girls born in poverty, destined to a life of struggle, destitution, and eventual imprisonment for unpaid debts. And yet today his life and accomplishments are celebrated throughout the world. 

All because of his stories.

Whether you are a Dickens fan or not, I urge you to read and share this remarkable book about his early days in Old London. The compelling second person voice of Deborah Hopkins pairs perfectly with the intricate detail and shifting perspective of John Hendrix's illustrations. It's a book worth many repeated readings and explorations.

A Boy Called Dickens offers something for every age, including relevance to issues of our times: poverty, loneliness, child labor, and family relationships. In our media-driven world kids crave fame at any cost. In this case Dickens recognized the power of storytelling and harnessed that power. His writing not only brought him security and fame in his own time, but has made him a timeless literary icon. 

More extensive reviews can be found at Becky's Book Reviews  and Through the Looking Glass Review.

And NPR's Morning Edition has a segment today that offers persuasive arguments for adults giving the Dickens classics a current reading- despite any distasteful residue from being force fed in high school.

So, Dickens fan or not, check out this remarkable book- and feel free to comment on your own Dickens opinions!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Picture books are as versatile and diverse as the readers who enjoy them. Join me to explore the wacky, wonderful, challenging and changing world of picture books.