I found this article on Google Scholar. I was drawn to it because I am interested in writing picture books for children. My main motivation for writing is to help children with vocabulary, relationships with the person reading to them, and morals and information that can be taught in story form. I was interested to see how books could effect children besides these ways that I already knew about.
I was surprised by this article talking about exactly my third point. It stated that parents often choose books that have a lesson or moral with a "colorful outer shell." It said, "The same adults who send jokes and humorous stories to family and friends often cannot appreciate that children like humor in their books as much as adults." From this I think that I may not focus so much on the lesson of the story but I might try to focus on the humor instead. Come to think of it, my son's favorite book right now is The Book With No Pictures. He likes it so much because it makes him laugh. It doesn't teach him anything at all actually. It's actually surprisingly easy to get kids to laugh. Simply say Fart and you're off to the races. I may have to look over my manuscripts again for adding more humor.
I liked reading the article's list of the pleasures of literature. A few of them that it mentioned are: delighting in the words themselves, visualizing new images and exploring new ideas, identifying with characters, and connecting with the book and resonating to its message. From this list it is obvious that reading is about the pleasure of doing so. The people who read as adults simply take pleasure in reading. I personally like imagining that I'm in the situations that the characters are in. I like to see if I would do the same things that the characters do. The article stated, "one of the great attractions of literature at any age is that it not only affirms the familiar but also shakes up our thinking with ideas that are surprising and original and that serve to enrich and enlarge perspectives beyond what we already know." I agree that we often read in order to expand our minds and think about things we haven't before.
Overall I really enjoyed this article. I like how it compared reading of young people to reading of adults. There are actually more parallels than I thought. It will definitely impact how I write in the future.