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JEN VALENTINE GUEST POST

Good morning, friends. Hope your Thanksgiving was full of family, friends and good cheer. We have a wonderful guest today.

Jen Valentine

Jennifer Valentine is an attorney and mother of four children under eight (including triplets). Wow!                                               .                   tired frog

Here Jen shares her thoughts on what she’d like to see more and or less of in children’s literature.

K- As an attorney and mother of four young kids, what would you like to see more of in children’s literature?

J- I read a lot with my children and when they pick out specific books for us to read together, they have their favorites which are ALWAYS a story that makes them laugh.  Though our household inventory of children books is quite large and offers variety, so many wonderful books go ignored because they just aren’t funny.  Yes, it is important to read with them a story with a good lesson here and there, but at the end of the day, my kids want to laugh when it is time to relax with a story.  This is true for both my independent-reader 8 year old son and my read-to-them 6 year old mixed gender triplets.

K- Hey that’s true for my kids too. We especially enjoy cheesy joke books. What kinds of things would you like to see less of in the books you buy for your kids?

J-Perhaps my situation is unique with mixed-gender triplets all the same age at the relatively same reading level, but when my kids pick out books for me to read to them (as opposed to books they read/flip through on their own), they “compete” with each other in choosing “girl” books or “boy” books.  The cover is often the judgment criteria.  If the cover is pink or has a princess on it, my daughters will choose it simply because they deem it a “girl book.”  If the cover is blue or black and has a bad guy on it, my son chooses it in reaction to his sisters’ girl book choices.  I don’t necessarily believe they are only interested in hearing stories about a stereotypical girl or boy main character, rather, I think they are just competing with each other in their choices for mom to read.  While I understand this may be a unique situation in my house because of having mixed-gender kids all the same age, it could potentially mimic a preschool classroom environment when a teacher asks a student to select a book for story time.  Personally, I’d love some of the cover designs to show less gender stereotype colors and pictures, though, it remains perfectly acceptable for those actual stories to be about any character – boy or girl.  It’s just the cover design that seems to sway decision-making for some reason.

K-Thank you for your insight!

Jen helps nonprofit organizations achieve financial stability through grant funding. Visit her website at: http://www.writewordsgrants.com/

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