I need to jump down the silo chute on this blog and confess something: My children's books are really intended for adults. Of course, I want my stories to entertain kids, to educate kids, and to provide opportunities for discussions between generations, but my main goal has always been to tell the story so adults can relate the farm activities and adventures to their own childhood experiences. I want adult readers to see my stories as their stories.
When I perform for adults, audience members vigorously nod their heads in agreement when I say that although history does a good job of telling the stories of those who are rich and powerful, history ignores the lives of the many regular people who worked hard, managed to raise a family, and had limited financial success or glory. To be fair, history deals mostly with events, not the lives of common people, and in most areas, we need to depend on good fiction to tell the stories of regular people. But fiction about the rural Midwest as told by popular media, movies and television, is rare, inaccurate, or worse yet, nonexistent. Maybe this is because studios are located on our country's coasts. I simply conclude that we have to tell our own stories because no one else is really interested or qualified, a sentiment which usually gets more nods and even cheers from adult audiences.
There are lots of good books, fiction and nonfiction, about the rural Midwest, but my aim was to write something light but factual, entertaining but educational, easy but real. I wanted my stories to appeal to all ages and to be accessible to all ages. 100 years from now, I want my stories to be displayed on the end table when people decorate for the holidays. Maybe someone will page through one of my books and say, "Yep, that's what it was like to be a farm kid in 1950."
I love it when I see little kids smile and have fun reading one of my books or watching my show, but I also derive great pleasure when I perform my show for people my age and much, much older and see them grin and laugh as they see their story on a big screen.
For more information on my stories go to http://www.gordonfredrickson.com/