I'm surprised that so many adults say "I don't read kid's books." I get so much from kid's books. My friend Bill is right, I think when he says that the main difference between the best youth fiction and adult fiction is that the characters in the first are younger. I also think that emphasis on growth, learning, and hope in youth fiction appeal to me more than the cynicism and sensationalism which sometimes mar fiction written for adults. Of course I want to and do read both.
Right now KK and I are loving a book called Silk Umbrellas, a very complex and moving story about a young artist growing up in a Thai village at the brink of industrialization and westernization. The life style and circumstances of daily living in the story are so different and the love between grandmother and grandmother so similar. I think both KK and I are drawn in both by the similarities and the differences. I plan to look up Thailand on the internet with her the next time she, I and online access are together, to see pictures of the temples, jungles and people we're reading about - also a map since I am embarrassingly vague on exactly where Thailand is and she is even less sure. We know its somewhere in the general direction of China. duh! I also have some Thai foods and recipes so KK and I can prepare and share a sort of Thai meal next week at the beach. One little thing I learned in the book is that omelets with chillis are a traditional Thai food - makes sense since village people all over the world keeps chickens and have eggs, but I didn't know it.