Nalini Sorensen on the Importance of Humour in Children’s Writing
The funny thing about humour is, it is the hardest to write, and the easiest to read.
The funny thing about humour is, you can normally remember the joke that made you laugh till your belly ached… but when you try to retell it, it just isn’t half as funny.
The funny thing about humour is, it makes your darkest moment seem almost bearable.
The funny thing about humour is, it can make you cry.
The funny thing about humour is, it is everywhere.
Yes, humour IS indeed a funny, splendid thing.
I don’t think I’ve ever spent a day in my life with zero laughter. Have you? Life’s too short, to not laugh.
As an adult, I find, the books I re-read are often ones that have made me feel, and ones that have made me laugh. The same is true of movies.
As a children’s book author, absurdly enough, this is something that I was slow to pick up on.
So while I flexed and exercised my writing muscles, I gradually realized that what was important to me as a person and as a reader, was even more important to me as a writer.
I know that sounds very basic, and I understand that this is something that should have come to me earlier. But I only grew to understand this, as I grew as a writer.
I slowly figured that if I wanted my little reader/ child being-read-to to choose my book, either to read him/herself or take to the adult nearest to him or her to be read to, it would have to be a book that either made him or her feel, or laugh. The very same two criteria that appealed to me as an adult reader and as a person.
And those were the books I wanted to write.
If you have a reluctant little reader at home, perhaps those are the books you need to look for. Apart from everything else with a literary spin, you will hear bubbles and bellyfuls of laughter coming out of your little one. No better music, right?
Ironically enough, I write this as my twelve-year-old son practices his violin. The name of the piece he is playing? Humoresque. My favourite piece in his music book. How’s that for perfect timing?
Nalini Sorensen is a children’s author, who loves writing in rhyme. Her books include The Star That Saved the Day, Dada’s Useless Present, Alphabet Dress-up and Number March.
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