Children’s Stories

Michael Rosen is the current Children’s Laureate, and seems like a wonderful person.  On the death of his son:

“I went in in the morning to see how he was, and he was dead….

“The ambulance got there in five minutes. And they came running up the stairs and put the finger on his neck, did exactly as they do on the telly and said, ‘No, he’s dead that one, yeah, he’s dead’.”

That sounds harsh. No, Rosen said, it’s “the right approach”. Children often ask what happened to Eddie, the cheeky boy of his poems. He had to face this question months after Eddie died, at a book festival in front of an audience of 400 children.

“It was quite difficult for me to say it, but I just thought I’ll go ahead. I explained how he died, that’s all you can do.

“In our culture we think we’re supposed to shield children from death . . .because we as adults don’t yet know how to deal with the fact that we’re all going to die. You don’t have to make it part of life by being obsessed by it, but you have to find a way in which it’s part of the conversation.

Related, a Sunday School publisher decided that pre-schoolers couldn’t handle the Easter story.

Here is their reason, “because of the graphic nature of the Easter story and the crucifixion specifically, we need to be careful as we choose what we tell our preschoolers about Easter.” Further they say, “We have made this choice because the crucifixion is simply too violent for preschoolers.”

(More discussion here and here.) So, we should stick with Easter Bunnies, I guess?

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