Are the Tiffany Books "Children's Books?"

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed May 27, 2009 11:18 am

Well they certainly look different - I think ability-wise they're about equal really and just come at it from different directions - Nanny's got the people skills off pat with her own kind of unnerving headology where she's constantly putting people off their guard with the sweet (or madcap or flirty) old lady routine and then wham! she's full on manipulative whereas, Granny relies mainly on intimidation when she has to 'interact' (sorry for the HR speak BTW) and prefers to go Borrowing or blending into the background to do her sniffing around - basically she's not too great with people without 'the Hat'

Have just read the infamous Cripple Mr. Onion game in WA and Granny's at best passive-aggressive and can do the sweet old lady act too - but it doesn't come that naturally to her. :)
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10323
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby swreader » Fri May 29, 2009 5:48 am

This thread seems to have meandered around since I started it and completely forgot to check back in :oops: -- but since people have been talking about Tiffany and then wandering off into comparisons of Granny & Nanny or witches in general, let me add my thoughts about the Tiffany series.

In the American paperback of Hat Full of Sky there is additional material which, as far as I know, does not appear anywhere else. (I've never seen the British paperback, but it is not in either hardcover.) There are two significant points that Terry makes, I think. He commented that he got a lot of (mainly) e-mail about WFM and reported that while kids liked it, adults wrote and asked if it was really a children's book. The kids didn't raise the question. Terry found that "interesting." Which means, I think, that he doesn't have a real answer--and that it doesn't really matter. You can get out of the books what you are able to see, and what you see depends on how much you bring to and are willing to think about the implications of the book. That's a statement which can be applied to any of the Pratchett books.

The other interesting part is Terry's answer to a question about how he chose the definition of witchcraft--which is not only part of Tiffany's world, but obviously part of Discworld. He said:

Certainly witchcraft for Tiffany has very little to do with magic as people generally understand it. It has an awful lot to do with taking responsibility for yourself and taking responsibility also for the less able people and, up to a certain point, guarding your society. This is based on how witchcraft really was, I suspect. The witch was the village herbalist, the midwife, the person who knew things. She would sit up with the dying, lay out the corpses, deliver the newborn. Witches tended to be needed when human beings were meeting the dangerous edges of their lives, the places where there is no map. They don't mess around with tinkly spells; they get their hands dirty.


I think that the Tiffany books are for all ages--from childhood to 2nd childhood. They show us, in a way that Terry could not in the main Witch series, how witches are found and trained. Not everybody has the potential to be a witch. And being a witch doesn't give all witches uniform talents. Becoming a witch involves a great deal of hard work and learning to take responsibility for yourself, and for others who need your help. It also requires the wisdom to recognize what is really important and the ability to make the hard decisions. I'm not sure what else Terry will tell us in the last book of this series--but in my opinion, the Tiffany books are an integral part of the Witch Series.
User avatar
swreader
Member
 
Posts: 804
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:39 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri May 29, 2009 10:09 am


Certainly witchcraft for Tiffany has very little to do with magic as people generally understand it. It has an awful lot to do with taking responsibility for yourself and taking responsibility also for the less able people and, up to a certain point, guarding your society. This is based on how witchcraft really was, I suspect. The witch was the village herbalist, the midwife, the person who knew things. She would sit up with the dying, lay out the corpses, deliver the newborn. Witches tended to be needed when human beings were meeting the dangerous edges of their lives, the places where there is no map. They don't mess around with tinkly spells; they get their hands dirty.

:lol: Well at least we didn't digress away from the Witches altogether Sharlene - quite an achievement for us! :wink:

What Terry's defining in this quote is more or less what we've all been saying in here - magic isn't necessarily that important to Witches all the time in their daily rounds. With the thing about them being children's books or not - like the man says its all a question of perspective (like most things in life) and, as the books are about a child/young adult :roll: witch of course they'll appeal to the same age group as well to adults fans and to the uninitiated.

I still haven't read the Tiffany books so I can't really comment too deeply here, but Pterry has shown us glimpses of both Granny and Nanny as young girls in other books (Nanny in WA and Granny in L&L) and of course they're different to how they are when they're experienced hags. Perhaps what's going on in the Tiffany books is that they're about how a Witch begins and learns?

What I mean there is that with the Tiffany books he's writing about the point at which the girl decides she's a Witch? (because I kind of doubt there'd be a boy Esk since Wizards are much more impressive superficially - the Staff with the Hat etc... :wink: ). Then, being young, of course they're much more aware of magic and conscious of using it perhaps? As they grow their own very strong personalities (because all Witches, even Magrat and Agnes, are forces to be reckoned with) begin to assert themselves and adapt the magic to their own style and it becomes an unconscious part of them? It's just another skill in other words that they all use when it's called for. :wink:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10323
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby Tiffany » Fri May 29, 2009 4:27 pm

I am hoping to get the paperback American version of A Hat Full OF Sky soon. My American penpal has found several copies of TP books, second hand, to send me. She sent me the hardback version last year.
So far in the Tiffany books, she seems to have had to do a fair bit of real magic. With help from the Wee Free Men.
I agree with you, Jan, she does have a lot to learn still. She is bound to mature & start using headology instead of real magic. If we see more of her that is. I think she is a very special witch.
Best wishes,
Tiff
User avatar
Tiffany
Member
 
Posts: 2455
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:14 am
Location: Devon

Postby swreader » Sat May 30, 2009 12:35 am

Jan. you should know that girls don't exactly decide they are witches--the scenes in L&L with Diamanda and with Agnes/Perdita in Maskerade at least strongly suggest that witches don't start off with real magic (although Perdita's ability to sing with that range suggests supernatural power). You really must take time to read the Tiffany series. They connect so much with the other books of the Witch series. I was re-reading Wintersmith while I was waiting to be called for X-rays today and hit a passage that resonates strongly with Witches Abroad and the importance of stories. And that's just one example.

Tiffany, am I right in assuming from your comment that you have only read (or listened to) WFM? I'm a bit confused as to whether you've read HFOS. But if you think about it, Tiffany actually uses more headology (although to a great degree on herself) in WFM than actual magic. In fact, one could certainly argue that what she does in this book is learn to use her intelligence to defeat the Queen's magic. Certainly she uses a form of headology in the battles with the Queen, and indeed that is how she defeats her--because Tiffany has gotten centered in herself and thus is able to confront and defeat the Queen in spite of her efforts to frighten Tiffany with her magical appearances.

Tiffany is, of course, a very unusual young witch and much more powerful (potentially) than the others of the young witch coven in the later books. And you become aware, in these books, of the dangers of an untrained witch which is why Granny takes such an immediate interest in her in WFM. Granny has discovered a young potential witch who has not only rescued herself but has saved her world from invasion--armed with what she has unconsciously learned from Granny Aching and a frying pan. She has learned from Granny Aching about being the hag o' the hills, and about responsibility. She has to learn to think about the world and observe or notice things--prime characteristics of a witch.

But she has a great deal more to learn about responsibility and self-awareness--something that is developed much more in the 2nd & 3rd books. The most striking thing about the Tiffany series, I think, is how much there is in them. I've had to read all of them multiple times to get to understand, I think, what Terry is doing and saying. It is possible to read them at a surface level (as is true with all Pratchett books) and I wonder exactly how much the younger readers get from them. I do hope that Terry gets around to writing Midnight soon, but unless the character of Esk has changed dramatically, I doubt that she and Tiffany will have much in common. After all--Esk is a wizard not a witch, and there's all the difference in the world (as Granny frequently says) between the two.

Changing thoughts--of the books that are usually listed as "children's"--which ones do you all think are really for younger readers. My own feeling is that although there is always more to Pratchett's books than appears on the surface, that the Bromliead trilogy and the Johnny books are the simplest, followed oddly enough by Maurice which looks like a children's story but is one only in the same way that Grimm's Fairy Tales are children's stories. Then the Tiffany books reach a new level of sophistication.

And BTW, Tiffany--Many Happy Returns of your Birthday! :D Sorry I'm a bit late with my good wishes. :oops:
User avatar
swreader
Member
 
Posts: 804
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:39 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat May 30, 2009 10:29 am

swreader wrote:Jan. you should know that girls don't exactly decide they are witches--the scenes in L&L with Diamanda and with Agnes/Perdita in Maskerade at least strongly suggest that witches don't start off with real magic (although Perdita's ability to sing with that range suggests supernatural power). You really must take time to read the Tiffany series. They connect so much with the other books of the Witch series. I was re-reading Wintersmith while I was waiting to be called for X-rays today and hit a passage that resonates strongly with Witches Abroad and the importance of stories. And that's just one example.

I expressed myself badly Sharlene - what I was meaning was the point at which the girl embraces the idea that she IS a witch rather than blithely deciding she wants to be one (in the same way that everyone's going to be an astronaut or a train driver or a ballet dancer... :wink: ). So leaving Tiffany aside, with Agnes it's after her adventure in the Ankh Morpork Opera House and has a long walk home to admit that she's going to be a witch whether she likes it or not - with Tiffany I suppose it's because she has to fight off the Queen of the Elves and has to fight fire with fire and having learned from Grandma perhaps has been 'brought up to it' more than Agnes...

As to what constitutes a child's books - I've only read Truckers from Bromeliad and none of the others :oops:, but I don't think Pterry writes for children as such. Those books are simply more accessible and have something that appeals to all ages, which is why kids do like them because they're not being patronised in the slightest way? :)
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10323
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Sun May 31, 2009 7:09 pm

I blame it on J.K. Rowling... :lol: Her books would have Never been classified as children's books when I grew up... (born in 1961 :cough: Never trust anyone over 30... er, 40 ... Urk! ... nevermind) the whole subject matter would have started Book Burnings at that time. I have to admit to having read most of the series.

I think Terry should have his Own section. The Bromiliad Trilogy was just ... odd. It has it's moments but is kind of like The Borrowers series I remember from school.

In many ways, it is a credit to humanity that we are "allowing" children to be intelligent and to have feelings. The Tiffany books definitely go through a lot of the thought processes that young ( and old ) people go through as we learn and progress through life. Like how Tiff takes Petunia seriously even though Annagramma just refers to her as the Pig Witch. She teaches us that it is ok to be who we are and to think for ourselves instead of just accepting what we are told.

She even makes Annagramma learn that other people's opinions and feelings matter in the long run, and learns to take her job seriously. I still love the bit in Wintersmith when she comes screaming and cackling out of the cottage in Full Boffo Regalia including the gen-u-ine dangling booger. The townspeople took her seriously after seeing that ... and never wanted to see it come out of the cottage again :lol: :twisted:

My father started letting me read his Arthur C. Clark and Asimov books when I was about 10 or 11, and they made a real impression on me. I mean look at me now, I am an admitted book Addict :lol: :twisted:

Strata is the ONLY TP book I could not get into, and I am not sure why. it could have been too many story lines or when I got hold of it after already accepting Discworld as a whole and it was after reading about Rincewind, the Luggage and Eric actually Meeting the creator. Dunno
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
User avatar
Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit
Member
 
Posts: 3885
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 7:25 pm
Location: Byron IL USA and The Quirm School for Young People ... it's genetic, you know

Postby yapcash » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:23 am

GOOD!!
Image
Image
yapcash
New member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:21 am

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:26 am

Erm... glad to hear it. :?

Welcome to the site. :)
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28664
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby Cheery » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:16 am

Welcome to the forum, yapcash! :D
User avatar
Cheery
Member
 
Posts: 1544
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:19 pm
Location: Switzerland

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:28 am

Hi Yapcash :D

Well, having got about third of the way through Wintersmith (where he makes Tiffany the ice crystal roses) and having had a quick scan through the posts in this thread, all I can say is that these books are how a young witch develops in terms of her completely normal human development and in that way only it's a book about children - in some places.

Not for children or for adults, but for people who have been children.

It's also about how witches 'happen to be' witches and the demonstration is in every case that witches are not wizards (and so never men and why Esk had such a hard time of course). Terry also shows how part of being a witch is 'not doing magic' which is why there's so much doubt over whether Granny Aching was really a witch because her magic was totally invested in the land and being a part of it with the creatures that belonged to it most - so mainly the sheep and in part with the Feegles and most crucially their Kelda which is why Tiffany has to briefly become one in order to face her first big challenge which is of course wholly magical.

Without exception (so far) when Tiffany has to do 'proper' magic it's really internalised and with the Hiver completely so of course. The Elf Queen is about the power of dreams so ditto there and with the Wintersmith I think I'm beginning to 'get' that it's hormonal... :twisted:

I'll stop there and just say that I'm enjoying her stories but I don't think she's in any way special or more talented (necessarily) to the other witches young or old who are all quite clever in their own ways and without exception self-reliant and adept at people-handling within their own style. I love the idea of boffo too - and they all do that more or less - in their own ways :wink:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10323
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:43 am

Yes, in many ways I think Terry has taken all of his ideas about witches in the previous books and concentrated them into these books. It's like he started with the question: what is a Discworld witch? And then gone on to explore that question through the series. :D
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28664
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby author3 » Sun May 08, 2011 9:30 am

I think Tiffany should be in the teenage section to make things a lot easier
Do you know the Buffy fan?The Buffy fan,the Buffy fan.Do you know the Buffy fan?The one who is extremely obsessed.
User avatar
author3
Member
 
Posts: 2358
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 8:46 am
Location: Sunnydale Highschool

Postby pandasthumb » Sun May 08, 2011 12:21 pm

What is a 'children's book'? I take Jason's point about language and I quite agree, although applaud Terry for using words such as 'sussurus' (sp?). But having a child who would read anything at the age of 6 - these books are not overburdened with concepts that would require explanation. Readers with less world experience would understand the fairies stealing away a baby brother, magical pixies who will fight/ drink anything and the isolation of being not like other people. My son stated reading Maurice, he wouldn't have got so involved in feet of Clay as he would not have been able to relate to or understand the concepts inherent in the novel.

Readers with less 'world experience' would not necessarily understand all the references in Soul Music for example. Think of when Death is with the beggars and one of the Sex pistols Wannabes gives Death a coin - for which Death is grateful. It's really funny. This is not a very good example and I am sure with appropriate time etc I could find a better one, so I hope you get the idea.

It's interesting as we now have certain sections of the library that my students are only allowed to borrow from - a section that contains 'age appropriate books'. it's terrrible. 14 yr oldsare not meant to be reading 'Don't call me Ishmael'. It's a travesty! (Tiffany is still on the approved shelf, well was last time I checked).
User avatar
pandasthumb
Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:32 am
Location: Australia

Postby pandasthumb » Sun May 08, 2011 12:22 pm

Tonyblack wrote:There's one particular part of one of the books (which I've forgotten) where Granny spends the whole night Borrowing to try and find out what's going on. Nanny talks to a few people and has the answers. Granny comments that she would never have thought of doing that.


Lords and Ladies - about who has been dancing around the stones.
User avatar
pandasthumb
Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:32 am
Location: Australia

PreviousNext

Return to Children's Books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest