Friday, August 04, 2006

Not in The Book, But at Your Service ...

Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
There are times when I think I'd make a stunning children's book editor. Oh sure, my copyediting skills may not be top notch, I have no idea where commas go, I don't always catch spelling errors and tense and verb agreement aren't my forte, yet I feel pretty confident I would not let a book about potty training go to press without a little ink paid to handwashing.

Perhaps it's just my neuroses flairing up, but ever since we got the Plop book, It has kind of freaked me out that this sweetly drawn little manual doesn't include a sink for washing after the deed.

I've been editing the missing piece into our readings, but it wasn't until yesterday when she asked me 'where's the sink' that I drew one into the storyline. Of course I tried to emulate other sinks the illustrator had drawn in the Brush book for consistency.

So here's a few delurking questions for all 7 or so of you, my fine readers: How do you edit your children's books? Do you skip the part about the Evil Queen demanding the heart of Snow White; do you fly past the dark and scary forest? Do you ignore the trip to the ice cream store or draw in vegetables alongside the baked goods?
Do you ever feel a little guilty about censoring?


kimmyk said...

When my children were little I read to them and if there was something questionable in it..I'd hurry like hell to read over it and cover myself. Now that my two are teenagers, I think they know more than I could ever want them to. There are no more scarey forests in our books. My son is actually reading a book for his English Lit. class as a summer assignment and one of the characters suffers a violent rape. That was rough to talk about that.

Diana said...

Her highness' books are pretty tame these days...but recently I've purchased some "big sister" books...and pulled out the pages about babies ONLY drinking from bottles. I'd draw in a breastfeeding mom, but I'm afraid my art skills are lacking there. Crazy breastfeeder.

Anonymous said...

when my mother used to read me the runaway bunny, she thought that when the bunny says he'll turn into a ship and sail away from her and she responds "i'll turn into the wind and blow you where i want you to go" was too demanding, so she changed it to "where YOU want to go". cute.

Mom101 said...

We skip right past the "play peekaboo with paul" part of Pat the Bunny. I find the innuendo unmistakable and inappropriate for a 12 month old.

Trish said...

I censor, based on what I trust about my kids readiness. My son tends to have bad dreams, so I edit accordingly. My daughter likes high action, loud noise, and even frightening material, so we edit IN this sort of thing.
The stories theme remains, however, just embellished.
Book reading is supposed to be fun and I figure that when I read a book, I add my own mental images that make the story work for me, just as everyone else does.

Autumn said...

i edit the little fire engine by lois lensky.
it is so out of date! it shows and says that the family take furniture and toys out onto the lawn of their home. then a daughter and kitten are stuck on the second floor. WHO would teac their kids to take stuff out of a burning house. and not to check everyone was out?! it was a gift book and it will be disappearing from our collection. though i have thought about taping some pages together and jsut skipping that part. i sometimes comment and tell bowie what we should do ina fire.

i also edit words in potty books to what we use in our family, or sometime add in ours alongside.

i LOVE that you actually editted your daughter's book!

kittenpie said...

I think I actually edit more with other people's kids.
In our house, if I don't feel ready to tackle an issue, I will hold off on that book.
I have found myself considering editing some of Munsch's books on occasion, but she loves the goofiness, and I usually think hse gets that it's being silly. (Plus it's opened up the topic of being too bossy, which she is becoming sometimes.)