Monday, April 1, 2013

Writers' Quotes on Writing for Younger Readers

Painter: Isabel Guerra

“I believe that good questions are more important than answers, and the best children’s books ask questions, and make the readers ask questions. And every new question is going to disturb someone’s universe.”Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time and many others.

 “We must meet children as equals in that area of our nature where we are their equals. . . . The child as reader is neither to be patronized nor idolized: we talk to him as man to man.”

"Anyone who can write a children’s story without a moral had better do so, that is, if he is going to write children’s stories at all. The only moral that is of any value is that which arises inevitably from the whole cast of the author’s mind."
C. S. Lewis: Author of "The Chronicles of Narnia" among others


 "Sure, it's simple, writing for kids . . .
Just as simple as bringing them up."   
Ursula K. LeGuin Author of the "Earthsea" fantasy series and others


 “It does not seem to me that I have the right to foist a story on people, most of whom are children who should be learning all the time, unless I am learning from it too.” Diana Wynne Jones: Author of "Howl's Moving Castle" among others.

“As I look back on what I have written, I can see that the very persons who have taken away my time are those who have given me something to say.”
Katherine Paterson: Author of "Bridge to Terabithia" and others.

There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children's book.” Philip Pullman: Author of "The Northern Lights" (The Golden Compass in the USA) among others

"The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out..." Howard Pyle: Author and Illustrator, "The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood" among others. 




Humpty Dumpty said...

What wonderful quotes! I can especially relate to Diana Wynne Jones perspective. While writing my novels, I learned so much! :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Those are great quotes! I'm sure Tolkien has one, too. I'll have to find it. And there's always Neil Gaiman! (

Margaret Buffie said...

I found these actually quite difficult to find. It seems childen's writers don't hand out too many quotes! But I found a fair number and chose these as my favourites. I loved them all. They lift one's writing spirits!

Margaret Buffie said...

Thanks, Deniz. These are not easy to track down. Like I said above in another reply, I found a number and was so happy with the ones I chose because they really speak to me as a writer. If you find the Tolkien one, let me know!