Tag Archives: Children’s Literature

Language Play

Overheard on the bus, a four-year-old explaining patiently to his mum: Only dogs are allowed to catch a cat. And cat is allowed to catch a mouse. The “play” here is at a number of levels. I really appreciated the … Continue reading

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Till We Have Faces

Three voices to follow up on my last post, and anchor it in my reading (because I really can’t stuff any more quotations into that last one): In Alan Garner’s The Owl Service, one of the young adults caught up in … Continue reading

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For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof

What is a ruin? Some initial thoughts on applying Jane Carroll’s topoanalysis to Thursbitch and Ludchurch.  Whether there are night-ravens or pelicans in one’s insomnia (the psalm commentaries spend some time on the animals in Psalm 102: I think I … Continue reading

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How Wild the Space?

I saw a lovely student from another University today. She’s researching Harry Potter and wanted to chat it over. We met in the Weston Library and talked about her project, a reader-response exploration of an illustrated version. It struck me … Continue reading

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End of the Matter

Spoiler alert: this is the Matter of Britain as explored at the end of the Dark is Rising Sequence, the last few pages of Silver on the Tree. * All good things come to an end, and the narrative that … Continue reading

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Vocation I: thoughts in a bleak time.

A first thought on what makes me do what I do – or rather to voice something much deeper than curmudgeonly impatience at the world of work we face as the new year starts. It comes in response to a … Continue reading

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Nature Books

The AHRC Favourite Nature Books project closes its nominations at the end of November. I made a nomination in the end, but with a very heavy heart: it felt like taking one book and saying goodbye to the others. I … Continue reading

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Green Thoughts, Green Shades, Green Knights

What sort of journey does Gawain go on?  I asked this when thinking about the interior and exterior journeys in children’s literature and traditional tales. Today – cold as cold, but sunny even in the woods as the leaves lose … Continue reading

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We’re Not Scared

Bear Hunt is an improbable book: wonderful, but not really a narrative of an afternoon’s outing. The children move through a variety of landscapes and seasons in a re-playing of an older nursery game (with possible variants about lions, guns … Continue reading

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More on lost words

When, a while back, I made a brief mention of the disappearance of some words from the Oxford children’s dictionary I acknowledged the limitations of the lexicographer, who needs to balance all sorts of needs. I also mourned (briefly) the … Continue reading

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