Friday, August 31, 2012

How NOT to Write an Easy Reader

I assume most of you know who Jane Yolen is. She's probably one of the most prolific and well-thought-of children's authors around. I've added her website to the sidebar, and you can find writer's helps and such there. But today I thought I'd give you a little humor, courtesy of the marvelous Ms. Yolen.

It's an example of what she calls "the idiocy of limited vocabularies" in children's books. It's a parody of Jane Eyre that she had heard many years before (bear in mind that the book I took it from is nearly 40 years old). I love it, and I thought I'd pass it along:
This is Jane.
Hello Jane.
Jane is poor.
Her dress is poor.
Her shoes are poor.
Her hat is poor.
Poor Jane.

This is Mr. Rochester.
Hello Mr. Rochester.
Mr. Rochester is rich.
He has a big house.
He has a big horse.
He has a big dog.
He has a big secret.
What is Mr. Rochester's secret?
Jane cannot guess the secret.
Can you guess the secret?

This is Mrs. Rochester.
Hello Mrs. Rochester.
Mrs. Rochester is crazy.
She has a candle.
The candle is lighted.
Mrs. Rochester can laugh.
She laughs: ha ha ha.

The lesson? At the very least, some stories aren't good candidates for easy readers. ;-)

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