Power of Words and Pictures

In Children’s Literature

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Madeline Matters

Earlier this year I read Madeline, a 44-page picturebook written by Ludwig Bemelmans and published in 1939. It’s the tale of eponymous character, Madeline, a little schoolgirl in Paris who becomes ill with appendicitis and has to be rushed from her dormitory for emergency treatment. Madeline recovers in hospital where she is visited by herContinue reading “Madeline Matters”

A Journey: Past, Present, Future

Journey to Jo’burg by Beverley Naidoo is a children’s historical fiction novel set in South Africa in about 1985. The story is shaped by the 1976 Soweto schoolchildren uprising and is a sensitive portrayal from the viewpoint of a black child, Naledi, of life during apartheid. It situates the reader and its protagonist clearly againstContinue reading “A Journey: Past, Present, Future”

Whose Viewpoint?

In a 2007 springclean I look through some books in my bookcase. The books are Bibles my grandfather, Ronald Abbott, gave me before he died. Nineteen-twenty-seven says the inscription in one, 1941 another. Inside a 1939 ‘Active Services’ edition, published by the Naval & Military Bible Society, London, is a newspaper clipping about Grandpa inContinue reading “Whose Viewpoint?”

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