January Children’s Books Author Interview Answer #8 “Children’s books have improved over the years and there are books that discuss sexual education, cancer awareness and gender equality. Do you think these topics are too much for children to learn?”

Children's Books Author Interview
Children’s Books Author Interview

Hello everyone! It’s time to reveal the answers for all 12 questions answered by 12 author participants in the January Group Author Interview, in the 12 genres, 12 authors, 12 months and 12 questions series!

I have to apologize for the delay in posting up the answers for Children’s Book interview series as we previously had two authors pulling out from the interview due to unforeseen circumstances. Nevertheless, we thank them for introducing two other authors for this interview series. But, now we now have not 12, but 14 authors participating in this group author interview.

Yes, I’m breaking the rules for this interview series! While looking for the last author to join us, I had to email a few of them at one go, just to make sure at least one of them gets back to me to complete this interview series. And guess what? I had not one, but THREE authors sending in their submissions at the same time! Can I say no to two of them? Would it be fair? No! So, yes, the more the merrier, I thought. Therefore, let’s welcome 14 authors for this interview series.

The first seven questions are from a ten-year old children’s book reviewer and BookTuber, named Neha Praveen. You can follow her on Twitter at @npstation2018

If you are an author and would like to participate in our upcoming interviews, check out this link, sign up and get your fans to ask their questions to the participating authors! The goal of this author interview is to increase the engagement between readers and authors, and to expose authors to new group of readers.

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So, the 8th question is “Children’s books have improved over the years and there are books that discuss sexual education, cancer awareness and gender equality. Do you think these topics are too much for children to learn?”

1) Author #1 : Ann Harrison-Barnes

As with any type of medium, the topics you choose to discuss with children, depends upon their age group. For example, children who are in preschool up until they reach the forth or fifth grade may not understand the topics mentioned above. However, children and teenagers in middle grades up through high school need to be educated on these and other subjects of importance.

2) Author #2: Samantha Hardin

I don’t think so. I think the topics have to be handled in a delicate way, but kids should be exposed to these topics early on in life.

3) Author #3: C.J. Rains

I think anything can be carried too far and take the joy out of reading. I prefer to use fun topics that will stimulate the child’s imagination.

4) Author #4: Padma Venkatraman

I think it’s very important for children to understand the world around them. A lot of misery can result from a lack of knowledge. When we don’t bother to provide children with honest and open sexual education, or when we act like they can’t understand debilitating diseases like cancer, we run the risk that children will suffer more than if we discuss them in a kind and straightforward manner. As for gender inequality and other kinds of inequity, I think children already experience these things – to see them in books validates the experience. 

5) Author #5: Elizabeth Gerlach

I think it depends on the age of the child. Some will be too young to really relate and be able to understand more sensitive topics. The main character of my book uses a wheelchair so it can introduce special needs concepts to kids and parents can address simple age-appropriate questions such as ‘why is that child not like me?’ or ‘why can’t that child walk?’ or ‘Can he still play with me?’ These types of questions are also important but less sensitive and easier to understand than some other topics that are trending right now.

6) Author #6: Cassie Miller

No, I think that children’s books are the perfect format for a child to learn these things. If done well they can become amazing tools. Children are so astute and inquisitive, as a parent it canbe challenging to explain something that was overheard from an adult conversation

7) Author #7: Charlie Bee

Not at all, in the right way. We believe children ought to know about difficult and sensitive subjects, but only at an age, and in a manner that is appropriate for them. As each child is different, we believe that their introduction to these subjects be determined by their care givers. 

8) Author #8: Jerry Craft

I don’t think they’re too much for kids if they’re done well and offer hope, but it’s all in the way it’s handled. One of my favorite books that I’ve ever illustrated is called “What’s Below Your Tummy Tum?” It was written by Michelle R. Britto who is a Licensed Social Worker who has dedicated so much of her life to helping kids. This particular book is designed to empower kids and give them the language that they may need in order to prevent sexual abuse. I have heard stories of how it has done just that. I wish EVERY kid could get a copy.

And one of the first books I ever did is called “Looking to the Clouds For Daddy,” by Margo Candelario, and is about three sisters who are dealing with the loss of their dad. That book proved to be a great way for kids to grieve on their own time and to teach them that they are not alone. Meanwhile, “Khalil’s Way,” which I illustrated for David Miller, and “The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention!” which I wrote with my sons, dealt with bullying.

9) Author #9: Linda Covella

Not at all. I personally don’t tend to tackle these issues in my books, but I’m grateful there are authors and publishers who do. I was lucky: My mother was always honest and straightforward with us about issues that many parents are either too embarrassed to discuss with their children, or believe they’re too young. We shouldn’t shy away from these discussions. Children naturally have questions; they’re exposed to the issues in the regular and social media. Books help parents and educators open discussions with children. Of course, the book must be appropriately written and chosen for the age group it’s targeting.

10) Author #10: Tracy K

They can help some.

11) Author #11: Beffy Parkin

Yes I do. I think they need to be at least in their teens to learn of these topics. 

12) Author #12: Lory Linn

I don’t think so. I think it’s good to have a learning tool such as a book with characters that children can relate to when it comes to educating them on serious issues. I think that it’s also good for the parents and other adults who might have a problem beginning the discussion with the children. It could open the window for them to easily talk to the child. As a parent and grandmother, I would rather the children learn from me than from a stranger, even if it is through a book.

13) Author #13: Karen Magnen

Children need to be children and not get caught up in adult politics of race, sex, drugs, gender identity etc. I can see stories about different people or sickness and disease, but getting into topics of sexual nature, or gender politics, do not belong in a story for children.  Those topics should be discussed with an adult the child trusts, and not some author pushing an agenda, in my opinion.  Teens can handle these topics, not children under 10 or 11.

14) Author #14: Dr. Graham Clingbine

Any written work in this area should have age-related suitable content as I think children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood. I think sexual education is important but it should be pitched at an appropriate level and not go beyond a child’s natural basic curiosity. I have in fact written a book on human sexual behavior and it has been recommended for use by students in USA high schools by Mid-West Book Reviewers based in Oregon, USA.

Stay tuned for the next post. Be sure to follow this website via email to get notified when new posts are being made.

Best regards,

Jasveena

Founder of International Book Promotion

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