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Friday, 11 November 2011

CURD THE LION FEATURED IN CH.11. – FANTASY FICTION – IN TEACHERS’ GUIDE.


Margaret Mallett: Choosing Fiction and Non-Fiction 3-11: A Comprehensive Guide for Teachers and Student Teachers. Published June 24th 2010 by Routledge – 392 pages. (Winner of the United Kingdom Literacy Association's Author Award 2011 for its contribution to extending children's literacy.)

At the beginning of Chapter 11 on Fantasy Fiction, she writes: “… the huge and ever-growing number of books falling within the fantasy category… How does the teacher select from so many? … In a necessarily selective account, I have been concerned to pick out some of the best writers and most memorable titles which have survived over the years and which I think are likely to continue to be read.”

(full quote):
“BOX 11.2 THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF CURD THE LION (AND US!) IN THE LAND AT THE BACK OF BEYOND BY ALAN GILLILAND (RAVEN’S QUILL LTD)
Four soft toys go off on a journey to find a stolen brooch. Sounds cosy? It is not. In fact this is an exciting addition to fantasy novels for children from about age seven years, although it is also a most engrossing adventure story. The pencil drawings by the author fit the written text perfectly and add atmosphere and often energy to the story.
   It is not surprising that this story has been compared to the work of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear: riddles and word play, mysteries and surprises are wonderfully interwoven. The play on names is superb: for example, the four animals are called Curd the Lion, Pilgrim Crow, Sweeney the Heenie (a hyena) and O’Flattery the Snake.
   Dialogue is convincing too. When the mother of Henry and Henrietta, the two children in the story, wrongly accuses them of losing her brooch she threatens that if they do not find it soon she will cancel their birthday party. Worst of all she will give their beloved toy animals to the charity shop for Children in Need, adding, ‘You don’t care about them. Look at the way you were treating Curd the Lion just now. Beating him to rags!’”

Praise for Margaret Mallett’s book:
'This book is about making readers. A compact summary of its contents would not do it justice. It is the accountof a life's work and it deserves thanks and readers. *****'. - Margaret Meek, Books for Keeps on-line, Number 185, November 2010.
'This book is a cornucopia of varied pleasures, offering something for all tastes, presented with an awareness of the complexities of the field and communicated with commitment, enthusiasm and deep knowledge'. - Eve Bearne, English 4-11, the primary school journal of The English Association, Number 42, Summer 2011

And finally, this was her recent reply to an email I sent thanking her:
Dear Alan
Many thanks for getting in touch. In 'Choosing and Using' I wanted to help student teachers know about some of the very best books for children after my lifetime in teaching children and students. Your book about Curd the Lion is hugely original and imagination stretching. My grandchildren are all 4 and under, but I will be getting them each a copy to treasure in the future. I wonder what you are working on now. You deserve every success.
With warmest regards
Margaret.

How nice is that? Thank you, Margaret.


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