Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Books and Their Legacy of Hope; BOOKS, the Whole Book and Nothing but the Book. Former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen Talks to BARBARA HODGSON about a Truly Important Part of Education

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Books and Their Legacy of Hope; BOOKS, the Whole Book and Nothing but the Book. Former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen Talks to BARBARA HODGSON about a Truly Important Part of Education

Article excerpt

Byline: BARBARA HODGSON

IF you needed any evidence of how a well-written story - no matter its subject - can engage with children, you'll find it at Seven Stories Centre for Children's Books.

A short film, incorporated into its current Judith Kerr exhibition, shows primary school pupils' response to her book When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Kerr's semi-autobiographical story of a young Jewish girl who flees Nazi Germany in 1933.

The pupils met 86-year-old Kerr - who's also written an Out of the Hitler Time trilogy for older children - when she came to open her exhibition and this resulting film reveals their interest in her experience.

That it struck such a chord with young children came as no surprise to Michael Rosen, who knows more than a thing or two about connecting with youngsters through stories. As part of Holocaust Memorial Week, the children's novelist and poet was in Newcastle on Thursday night to view the film and give a talk to teachers.

Rosen - who handed over his children's laureate baton to Anthony Browne last year - regularly visits schools and is on a mission to see "whole books" back on the agenda.

"I want to stress the importance of reading whole books in the classroom," he says, "because the point about them is that they deal with ideas and feelings; they're designed to engage our attention.

"But somewhere in the mainstream reform of education came the emphasis on educating children with worksheets." Worksheet teaching has seen a resurgence over the past 10 years, he says and he can't understand it.

"I don't know who thought worksheets were more important than books --there's wisdom in books and they're dealing with truths."

After all - following recent concerns highlighted in the news about the impact on children of TV coverage of the Haiti disaster - books, even touching on such subjects as the Holocaust, are a vital tool in education. It's just knowing how to deal with the subject.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, says Rosen, is a "brilliantly written book and accessible to children". …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.