I thought you might like a glimpse of my Editor's Foreword for Window: The Inner Circle Writers' Group Children's Anthology 2018,coming soon at this writing:
This book contains a ‘spread’ of stories, from those suitable for quite young children - say, from the age of eight years old - to tales more appropriate for older children and teenagers. I have tried to divide them up into two broad sections, therefore - the first for younger children, the second for older.
I don’t think there will be any harm done particularly if a young child ventures into the second half of the book either by accident or through curiosity - none of the stories are so dark as to be disturbing or frightening to any great degree. But parents should be aware of the difference.
In fact, I initially tried to string the stories together in a sequence of growth in age terms, but this is never scientific, as some very young children have ‘old heads’, as my grandmother used to say, while some older children, like me, still prefer the type of tale written for the very young.
In my parents’ house, there were never any rules about what one could read and what one couldn’t. I was allowed to pick up just about anything from my father’s fairly extensive library. Thus, while kept alive on a flow of comics (most of which I still have) I often diverged into other items of interest. In that way, I discovered She by H. Rider Haggard, and the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, probably before I was supposed to be ‘ready’ for them; I delved into encyclopaedias full of small, dense text, and used a dictionary which was so old it was taped together and had in it a picture of Battersea Power Station when it was newly built. I don’t think I was scarred by any of this. My life-long passion for books and story-telling was born in that crucible.
So this book is intended as a crucible too, in its own small way. I hope that children find within it a favourite tale or two, something that they might reflect on long afterwards, and treasure when society claims that they have ‘grown up’.