If I read a story to children, I want it to celebrate the goodness in people and I want it to have a happy ending. Elizabeth Nesbit's grand old story does all that. Some 21st century readers are kind of harsh in their criticism of these books. It's not layered with enough socialist principles, feminist ideals or criticism of all things corporations to suit them. The criticism is that the story is not "realistic".
With children's books, I will always allow a trip to fairyland idealism for the sake of the kids. Better they grow up on ideals than harsh realities in their bedtime stories. Let them learn the ideals first and when they are adults, they will have the ideals against which to judge the rightness of the harsh realities.
- It is good that Nesbit made her country-folk fallible and at the same time willing to admit their failings.
- It's good that neighbors are shown being neighborly. Even Perks' pride is shown up for a flaw.
- It's good that the "old gentleman" is a decent man. He serves to remind us that not every successful man is an evil capitalist with no heart.
|The Railway Children is a classic|
Just a thought.
© 2017 by Tom