Monday, May 13, 2013

In Defense Of The Adorable

Respected literary critic Dorothy Parker, under the nom de plume Constant Reader, once reviewed A.A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner in The New Yorker.

In what became one of her more famous critiques (in a career of sharp-tongued takedowns,) she wrote that Milne's overly precious prose made the "Tonstant Weader (fwow) up."

About 85 years later, Winnie the Pooh and his band may still be twee to some adults, but their popularity remains strong among their key demographic -- namely, children who have never heard of Dorothy Parker.

It's easy to pick on the cute.

Take, for example, the Pinkalicious book series by author and artist Victoria Kann. The books follow the adventures of a young girl – also named Pinkalicious – who madly loves the color pink, wears a tiara, brandishes a wand and has a pet imaginary unicorn named Goldielicious.

It doesn't take a rapier wit to cut through the silliness or the pink-inspired puns. (There are pinkerbelles and pink-a-boos galore.)

What it does require is a cynical sourpuss.

About 20 children and their parents came to the Mentor Public Library's main branch Saturday for its Tea-licious Tea Party, which celebrated (as you probably guessed) all things Pinkalicious.

It was a cynicism- and sourpuss-free zone.

Most of the girls were decked out in their pinkest, frilliest outfits. They made their own wands and tiaras. They sipped pink lemonade and ate pink cupcakes (as well as some green vegetables because, while pink food may be tasty, they're not always nutritious.)

Most of all, it was adorable.

And, yes, children's books like Pinkalicious might have caused Dorothy Parker some stomach discomfort; but the kids loved it. And to be surrounded by them is to share their enthusiasm.

After all, shouldn't we be excited about something that encourages children to read? (The Pinkalicious books also include morals about healthy eating, respecting nature and being true to your own sensibilities.)

Besides, to children there is no such thing as overly precious. That's an adult construct. To children, there is only precious.

For more information on events for kids and adults at the Mentor Public Library, visit

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