Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Philip Pullman: teach all children fairy tales and Bible verses

From Philip Pullman: teach all children fairy tales and Bible verses:

Pullman, a bestselling author and former teacher, said the children's stories were "vital" for youngsters, claiming they are what they need "most of all" in education.

All children ought to know the most famous tales, he said as he implored parents, teachers and relatives to read or perform them.

He added that families and communities did not tend to sit together and swap stories nowadays, because they are distracted by television and the internet.

Speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival yesterday, Pullman read from his 2012 book of Grimm's fairytales "for young and old" as he joked children should be exposed to stories, "the bloodthirstier the better".

There's a lot more in the article and it promotes Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version, of course, but the message and call to arms is sound.

And it's fascinating that the avowed atheist includes the Bible in the list, but whatever your leanings, it is important to know Bible stories (whether you espouse them religiously or not), Greek and other country's myths, and fairy tales to better understand our Western culture and history.

And I myself cannot recommend Bluebeard and its mates highly enough. Once a kid hits the right age, this is the one I get begged for the most--and it is not forgotten. I recently presented a career night to 16-18 year olds and one of the young women in the audience remembered Bluebeard from when I told it to her when she was 9, half her life ago.

Bluebeard was a hit with all of them, too.

1 comment:

  1. As a mom to a four year-old, this is great to hear!