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They want to put an age band on children's books! Right there, on the cover! No! We can't let this happen! Let's have some consumer Mumsnet power please

150 replies

ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:33

I think it's such a BAD idea.

In fact I think it's such a BAD idea I can't believe it ever got out of the board room.

Do you?

If you do then you can write here and tell them so.

[sits down, holds placard, adjusts wooly hat]

OP posts:
talilac · 07/06/2008 15:35

With you all the way 100x.

(sits down, gets thermos out.)

ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:35

Because you know what ds1 will and does read anything and everything. He'll read Agatha Christie one day. Then the next Horrid Henry. He's 10.

He'd feel bad if it said 5-8 on the front. Or even 5 plus.

It's just so wrong.

Reading should be about pleasure, who cares about the age. Who are the publishers to say what age it is for anyway?

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ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:36

Send them an email Tally. Gawn.

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MargaretMountford · 07/06/2008 15:37

I heard this on radio - hmmm...I've just bought ds a copy of A Kestrel for a Knave,which is really an adult book,being a Penguin Modern Classic -he is 11 tomorrow - and that would clearly not get a 11-13 sticker !! Blimey, can't we be allowed to make decisions for ourselves anymore ?
The only benefit might be for people out of touch with children to help them choose a suitable book for a child,I suppose

ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:37

Also what about dd.

She's not a great reader. Should she feel ashamed to be reading something that says 4-5 on it when she's 7?

No. She should not.


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BabaYaga · 07/06/2008 15:38

Is this a joke? That is such a ridiculous idea. Are they trying to put even more children off reading books? Every book and child is individual, age is irrelevant.

[sits down next to ahundredtimes and brings chocolate to share]

ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:38

Emails ladies. Emails.

Let us stand up and be counted.

We are the consumers. The Nation's Parents. We will not be Group Banded. Oh no.

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ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:40

Yes, I know what you mean MM. But what makes me cross is this is all about the selling and not about the reading.

And that's wrong. Just wrong.

Also the reason why Phillip Pulman and Anne Fine etc have objected so strenuously is because they don't want children to feel ridiculed, and they don't want an age band which says 11. Because it's like saying 'anyone who isn't 11 - keep out.'



OP posts:
MargaretMountford · 07/06/2008 15:40

I've just emailed and will forward to my friends...I am a children's book illustrator too by the way.

MargaretMountford · 07/06/2008 15:41

yep ahundredtimes - it's another marketing ploy -bastards

ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:42

Marvellous MM. Please do circulate.

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RustyBear · 07/06/2008 15:43

The Puffin books I had when I was a child always had an age range on them, don't remember anyone making a fuss about it back then.

(Perhaps I should put that on the "What things do you remember from your schooldays that would have the MN police screeching for Ofsted/Social Services/the Police?" thread.

I do think it's a daft idea to revive it though.

talilac · 07/06/2008 15:43

I have emailed.

Its me I feel sorry for.

Its already somewhat embarrassing to be browsing the young adults section looking for forgotten favourites from my childhood in the full knowledge that DDs won't be into this stuff for at least five years.

Now imagine how I'll feel reading on the tube with "Age 12-15" on the front of my book. Yes. Exactly.

Seriously though. I read EVERYTHING as a child, no matter what age it was designed for. And I still do now. I would hate my DDs to feel like they were too old for some books, or too young for others..

Threadwormm · 07/06/2008 15:46

Agree it is a daft idea, in a hundred different ways.

MargaretMountford · 07/06/2008 15:46

agree- ds still loves Horrid Henry even though he is 11- I wouldn't want any child to be put off

BabaYaga · 07/06/2008 15:46

Same here talilac, I buy and read as much children's lit as I do adults, despite dd1 only being 5. A good story is a good story and can be enjoyed regardless of age.

ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:48

Did they Rusty? I don't remember mine having that. But I was dreamy, and innumerate, I probably didn't notice.

I get enough grief with the 'I'm only on the purple box, but XYZ is on the brown box' at school. Don't feel like I need it for 'home books' too.

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ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:49

Email Thready, email and then march with me.

There will group singing and affirmative dancing later.

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Threadwormm · 07/06/2008 15:50

Right. Have emailed. Just painting the age-band on my placard now.

Threadwormm · 07/06/2008 15:52

Perhaps they will also have little warnings, like the rather weird one you see on some film info: 'Contains language'.

ahundredtimes · 07/06/2008 15:57

'contains magick'

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TooTicky · 07/06/2008 16:04

Have done. What a very odd and unspeakably bad idea it is.

UnquietDad · 07/06/2008 16:08

I think it won't even be a sticker - after all, you can remove a sticker. It's going to be "branding", isn't it? very bad idea. I have an 8-year-old DD who is a keen reader and is currently reading stuff from the 9-12 and teenage shelves, and a DS who is a slower reader and more into thing which are "his" age or under. Neither of them would fit into these boxes.

UnquietDad · 07/06/2008 16:09

"Contains moments of mild peril and a slightly unbelievable plot development."

littlerach · 07/06/2008 16:09

Have emiled.
Crazy idea.

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