A Comment from Geoffrey Hayes: Books for Boys

I don’t usually highlight a reader’s comment in this way, but comments to old posts tend to get lost in the slipstream. I recently heard from author/illustrator Geoffrey Hayes, recent Geisel Award winner, in response to something I’d written a while back.

Commented Mr. Hayes:

Dear James,

I just happened upon your site and was surprised to find my book “PATRICK AND TED” mentioned so warmly. It seems like I wrote this story so long ago, but you reminded me that I’ve always written from feelings and emotions first. I never thought of this as specifically a “Boys Book”, maybe because it doesn’t focus on those things that one traditionally finds in books for boys. In my opinion there is a narrow view in today’s publishing world about just what boys will and won’t read — stories with a female protagonist for one. For every generality you can apply to boys (and girls) we tend to forget that each child is an individual and therefore multifaceted. Thanks again for your kind words and fond memories.

Geoffrey Hayes

I agree with every word, and it’s a message I’d like to shout from the mountaintop.

But mountains are so darn high, and so awfully hard on the tootsies, let’s save our strength and just blog about it. Besides, if I’m up on a mountaintop, I can shout ’till my lungs burst and nobody’ll ever hear me. Why? Because I’m up on a mountaintop! That’s the last place you’d go to spread a message. Who makes up these ridiculous expressions anyway?

Thank you, Mr. Hayes — and congratulations on the well-earned award.

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