Just don’t upset the children.

Nursery rhymes are being altered in order for them to have happy endings. In a recent BBC broadcast Humpty Dumpty was not beyond repair, if fact all the King’s horses and all the King’s men were able to make Humpty happy again. Then on a CBeebies channel near you, Little Miss Muffet was spotted welcoming the spider that sat down beside her. Is the santisation of children’s literature a good thing, or should we be preparing our little people for the harshness of life?
Well, which of the following do you prefer?

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?

Three kind mice, three kind mice,
See all their fun, see all their fun,
They all looked after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut them some cake with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three kind mice?

Personally, I like happy endings, but only after the characters have suffered on a difficult journey. Many fairytales aren’t far off the mark. With their goblins, witches, and trolls they are the stuff of nightmares but, by and large, they end in a happy place and all is forgiven. Imagine the Brothers Grimm trying to get published today. “It’s a horror story for kids. The title ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, basically a wolf disguises himself as a grandchild in order to eat her Granny.” Good luck with that!

And another thing, If the fun police are to insist on protecting little Timmy from violence then they should start with computer games.


Reviews matter!

Reviews matter! They shouldn’t, after all they’re only one person’s opinion and not everyone will like your book, but for new writers, they really matter. So in thanking Borders for the following review, I do so with great gratitude.

Danielle Siddons at Borders Book Store, Leicester:

‘Wow! What can I say? Chasing Shadows absolutely blew me away! It was like a cross between 'Life on Mars' and '24', with ample doses of action, gore, thrills and humour! Never a dull moment, the plot doesn't halt for a pause with twists, turns and new discoveries unfolding in every chapter. The characters were beautifully put across, in equal parts our protagonist was heroic and wholesome, made massively credible by his witty and dry sense of humour, and the 'bad guys' were deliciously detestable. With its short chapters and John's concise, to-the-point writing style, this book was unstoppable; it had me gripped from the first page until the side-splitting, shocking and genuis conclusion. A fantastic book!'