Thursday, 4 December 2014

"Speak to the Organ Grinder, not the Monkey" - A ReadItDaddy Editorial


One of the trickiest things about writing a regular blog that's designed to be a mouthpiece for your child's opinion is the assumption that the blog is "all you". It's tricky, and I've often wondered how other kidlit book bloggers balance things and try to ensure that the voice you read (hear) is the voice of the organ grinder, not the typing monkey.

I always go out of my way to say "We" rather than "I" in blog posts, opinion pieces and correspondence with the lovely booky folk who send us books. I'm always at pains to point out that, though I might hate the very BONES of a book that's all about a twinkly fairy and her glitter-covered pals, Charlotte would absolutely eat that book alive.

Most importantly though, the whole deal around the "Book of the Week" nominations. Sometimes we just can't agree on what should be book of the week and some quite animated discussions have taken place when Charlotte's rooting for one book and I'm rooting for another. Should I just politely step to one side and leave it at her choice? (The simple answer is "quite possibly" but sometimes it really is impossible to pick just one brilliant book nomination per week).

We've also had some quite amusing conversations about fame. "Who are these people you talk to on Twitter?" asks Charlotte, when I show her tweets where lovely authors, illustrators and book folk have chatted to us over everyone's favourite social media distraction. I explain that sometimes authors and illustrators say hi, favourite things we've said, and give us brilliant feedback and encouragement. I wonder if one day through the magic of the internet, where nothing ever seems to go away, whether Charlotte as a grown up will trawl through the blog or through tweets or facebook posts to find out how ReadItDaddy came about (I really hope she does, if for no other reason than to hear her youthful voice reflected in the books she's loved and read).

I had a point somewhere, it seems to have rolled under the settee - ah yes, there it is - the point is simply this. Please, please give my gorgeous girl her props because really it's her opinion on books that matters, her favourite bits and her exclamations of joy as a parcel of books arrives and lights up her world. This is her blog and I aim to make sure that in 2015 that is made clearer than ever before.

I'm just the monkey who presses the buttons to put words on the screen because the organ grinder can't (yet!) but watch out world when she can!