Episode 12: Multiculturalism in Children’s Literature, with Sita Brahmachari

What does representing other cultures in children’s literature entail? After a (long) summer break (sorry!), we are back to discuss this important question, and not on our own! Our special co-host for this anniversary episode of Kid You Not is…

Sita Brahmachari. Yes, the amazing children’s author of Artichoke Hearts and Jasmine Skies, that we keep telling you about. We met her. For real. And recorded an episode with her (and her puppy Ringo, if you’re wondering what that noise in the background is).

You can download the episode by clicking HERE (29 min), subscribe to us on iTunes, or play it in the sidebar.

And listen to Sita tell us more about what she thinks of the complex question of multiculturalism in children’s books. In particular:

  • When dealing with mixed heritage and the encounters of different cultures, is it better to normalise or to problematise?
  • Can you write about a culture you don’t know?
  • How do young readers react to stories that stage the clashes and/or fusion of different cultural backgrounds?

Any comments, questions, requests? As always, post them here or email us at kidyounotpodcast@gmail.com ! You can also follow us on twitter @kidyounotpod.

And here are the (brilliantly designed) covers of Sita’s books, which you should read if you haven’t already. We might be a little bit obsessed with them; just a little.


Lauren & Clementine x

P.S. In case you’re wondering, Episode 11 is coming… next time. Yeah. Don’t ask.

Episode 9: Ideology in Children’s Literature

But surely only bad quality children’s literature is ideological? In this episode, we debunk the usual myths about ‘ideology’ being a really awful propagandist thing that brainwashes our children. Ideology is everywhere – and it might not be the most obviously ideological children’s books that are the most ‘dangerous’…

You can download this episode by clicking HERE, or subscribe to us on iTunes to get all the episodes automatically downloaded to your mp3 player, or you can play the episode in the sidebar!

In this episode you’ll hear about…

  • What ‘ideology’ means, and why you’re in it with the rest of us.
  • The difference between passive and active ideology, and why the former isn’t at all the most benign.
  • Princesses that don’t want to get married, and why the promotion of gay parenting in children’s books still needs nuclear monogamous family values.

Email us at kidyounotpodcast@gmail.com if you have any comments or questions! In the meantime, here are some of the books we’ll be discussing…


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Episode 8: Non-Fiction for Children

Apparently it’s not fiction, but then what is it? And why is it such a marginalised, and yet such a lucrative, domain in children’s publishing? In Episode 8 of Kid You Not, we discuss non-fiction for children. And as always, you can download it

1. HERE      
(27 min), subscribe to us on iTunes, or play it in the sidebar!

In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • Two non-fiction editors’ opinions about what it is and what it isn’t and why it’s great, thanks to Lauren’s interviews of Caroline Royd, of Walker Books, and Rachel Cook, of Franklin Watts.
  • Clementine’s problems with the assumption that non-fiction teaches children about ‘facts’.
  • Fluffy animals, egyptology, horrible histories and dinosaurs.
  • How Michael Rosen would like to rename non-fiction, and why The Sad Book is, in fact, non-fiction.

Hope you enjoy the episode! and please forgive us for the slight technical problems with sound that we had on this one.

Email us at kidyounotpodcast@gmail.com if you have any questions or suggestions!

And here are some of the books or authors we’ll be talking about:

Episode 7: Humour in Children’s Books

Funny books for kids abound. But can children really understand humour? And what’s the hidden side of all these jokes and puns?

In Episode 7 of Kid You Not, which you can download HERE (31 min) or play in the sidebar, or listen to on iTunes if you subscribe HERE, you’ll hear about:

  • Full-frontal snogging, being wimpy, and why we like hearing about our flaws.
  • Adults who think children don’t get jokes. We dun like them.
  • Slapstick, parody, irony, puns, and all the nuances of what we call ‘humour’.
  • Translating humour: is it even possible? And a debate on cultural imperialism, no less.
  • People who despise funny books, and people who study Pippi Longstocking.

And here are some of the books we’ll be discussing..


Email us at kidyounotpodcast@gmail.com !

Episode One: Surely That’s Not A Children’s Book!

Click HERE to download Episode One of Kid You Not Podcast! (28 minutes) or listen to it on the feed player in the right sidebar –>

Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here!

This week’s theme: In the first ever episode of Kid You Not Podcast, we discuss one of the many problems with adults – namely, their ambivalence towards children’s and teenage literature! Listen to the episode to learn more about crossover literature, publishing strategies behind adult covers for children’s books, and what it says about you if you don’t feel too comfortable reading children’s literature…

This week’s book review:

Numbers, by Rachel Ward (Chickenhouse)

Tell us what you think of Numbers in the comments!

The next book review will be Mimi, by John Newman.
Get hold of the book and let us now what you think before the next episode comes out!

Other books mentioned:

Junk,  by Melvin Burgess; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon; Pigeon English, by Stephen Kelman; The Giver, by Lois Lowry ; The Daydreamer, by Ian McEwan; the Twilight series, by Stephenie Meyer; the Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling; How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff; Holes, by Louis Sachar; The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. All books mentioned in the podcast or on the blog are listed here.

Thank you so much for downlaoding this episode! It’s our very first one ever and we hope you’ll enjoy it and forgive us for the glitches here and there. It’s all a learning curve!

Please share it with your friends and contribute to the blog and to the podcast by asking us questions and posting comments. You can also email us at kidyounotpodcast@gmail.com .

The next episode, on Quality and Trash, will be released on July 17th. Until then, subscribe to the blog for extra posts and book reviews!

Clem & Lauren

Episode One: The Making Of

As a little teaser in advance of the release tomorrow, we thought we’d provide you with a brief account of our experience making the first episode of Kid You Not!

Given that neither of us had any previous experience with audio software or microphones it was an interesting Saturday in which we finally met to record the first episode. All the planning and research had been the easy part. Connecting the microphone to the computer was a little more challenging, as was working out how to reduce feedback on it and what all the buttons did…

After all this hard work we decided it was time for lunch in a local pub (before the harder work started). It seemed easier to tackle on a full stomach – anything is easier to handle after chips.

After playing around with the microphone and the audio software for long enough to work out how to make sure Clem’s voice was not ten times louder than mine, the recording finally began! We had a tentative start as we got used to the sound of our own voices and a couple of technical glitches. By the time we had finished both of us were convinced that we were going to need to start again – I could have sworn that we kept wandering off the point and that I didn’t phrase things at all as I meant them to. But when we listened to the material (to see which bits we needed to re-record) it wasn’t anywhere near what we had thought we had recorded! It was actually pretty close to what we had intended in the first place…

A lot of peppermint tea and audio aggravation later we had a roughly edited first episode. Just a little bit more polishing, and we have Kid You Not Episode One: Surely That’s Not a Children’s Book

We learnt a lot making the first episode; hopefully future ones will not require quite as much confusion or peppermint tea.

By Lauren