Children’s books get real

The Waterstone’s Children’s book prize finalists have been revealed and there’s a notable increase in books dealing with real life issues and settings rather than the fantasy and sci fi leanings that have been popular in recent years.

I think it’s nice to see. While I loved horrors and fantastical books as a child I think I engaged with them in a very escapist way. As a young adult I was able to see the way authors were commenting on universal issues through an imaginary or magical landscape, but when I was younger it was harder to identify the things I might have in common with characters in fantasy books.

Children’s books dabbling in realism, however, had my sympathies totally hooked and more often provided me with the ‘you’re not alone feeling’ that is one of the most amazing things about reading.

2 thoughts on “Children’s books get real

  1. I agree that it is fantastic that stories that deal with real life are beginning to become more present in the market but I still feel like they have a long way to go when it comes to stories for infants.

    I find myself actively searching for stories with people instead of animals for my baby and although I see the value in the metaphor of animals, it would be nice to see many more stories that deal with real-life situations.


    • hehe, I love your user name. I do see what you mean about books for the very young being a little bereft when it comes to human characters.

      Maybe it’s a gap in the market that needs to be addressed. If we can have horrible books about mummy’s cosmetic surgery, then surely we can have some nice relatable ones about babies having their own adventures! Hope you find some good ones.


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