Several of my friends are reading Gatto's Dumbing Us Down, so I thought they might appreciate this quote to go along with it.
"The child does not mind a bit if there are things he does not quite understand." To which I add: It's important that there be things he or she doesn't understand, or understands only partly, by guessing from the context. That's an excellent way to learn.
Books for very young children don't have to be Dick and Janeish, or even Goodnight Moonish. I see no need to dumb down in writing for the young. Why not smarten up instead? Brooke did.
Quote from A Child's Delight by Noel Perrin
I saw this book mentioned on a couple of other blogs, so always interested in children's literature, I ordered a used copy. I liked this quote and have noticed how true this is when I'm reading to Annalise. Today we were reading Beauty and the Beast from Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book. While I was reading, I knew there were many words she did not know but it did not diminish her enjoyment of the story. It's amazing what you can pick up by the context. And I agree that it is an excellent way to learn. Much more interesting than lists of vocabulary words.