Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Muggie Maggie

Cleary, Beverly. 2009 (1990) Muggie Maggie. Read by Kathleen McInerny. Harper Audio.

As regularly as the seasons, Beverly Cleary's name appears each year on children's summer reading lists. So, to help with reader's advisory, I downloaded Muggie Maggie to my mp3 player. First published in 1990, it was released by Harper Audio in 2009.

Bad move. I should have picked another title.

Aside from the fact that I found Kathleen McInerny's voice to be too saccharine for even the youngest of listeners, I chose the one book that extols the virtues of cursive writing. Call me new-fashioned, but I am just not a fan. Today's children receive the most minimal training in cursive writing before they are swept up in our age of modern technology and QWERTY keyboarding. Kids don't do cursive writing well because they don't need to, don't have time to, and shouldn't have to. Other than its usefulness for legal signatures, is it really necessary?

Yes, it's a useful skill, and as a lover of history and historical documents, I would be lost without a knowledge of cursive, but truly, I think the age of cursive is over. (We're not still using shorthand are we?)

I'm with Maggie on this one - who needs it?

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