Children’s literature research is one of the most dynamic fields of literary criticism today, says Jean Webb, professor of international children’s literature at the University of Worcester. She picks five books from around the world that shed light on ‘childhood and relationships.’
Alan Lee, illustrator of such classics as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, talks to Five Books about his favourite stories drawn from myth and fairy tale, what they mean to him, and how important it is for young readers today to experience these ancient stories.
‘It’s a long time since ogres have seemed so absolutely real,’ says Marina Warner, author and long-time scholar of fairy tales. Which makes now as good a time as any to immerse ourselves in the twisted truths of the fairy tale realm, with Warner’s selection of the best books of, or about, other-worldly tales of mischief and subversion, dreams and laughter, ‘hope against hope’
How can parents even begin to explain the refugee crisis to children and young adults? Here, award-winning children’s author Gill Lewis shares her selection of vital primers – from simple picture books to challenging graphic novels – and discusses the role of ‘informed storytelling’ in describing this fraught and fragile human experience
Whatever your age, play is how we test ideas, define rules and see if they hold. New York-based artist and author Jon Burgerman talks to Five Books about his favourite titles that encourage kids to have fun and be playful, without worry or fear of failure, and simply enjoy the limitless possibilities of imagination.
Every generation has its own minefield to negotiate in order to reach adulthood. Rae Earl discusses five books that explore a range of mental health issues that some teenagers may face, and many adults have faced, while on this difficult journey.
Great books can introduce kids to economics at a young age, says Rutgers University economics professor Yana van der Meulen Rodgers. Here she picks some lovely story books for 5-10 year olds and explains the key economic concepts they illustrate.
Melvin Burgess, author of Junk and Doing It tells us about the books that first inspired him and he picks the best thriller writing for young adults – along the way explaining why young people make the most demanding readers
Fairy tales are as relevant today as ever, says Jack Zipes, a means of communicating about serious problems such as the abandonment of children or the self-sacrifice traditionally expected of women. He picks the best books to help us reflect on the meaning and significance of fairy tales.
Poet, writer and Bafta winning TV and film producer, Henry Normal, talks about his experiences bringing up his autistic son, the need for acceptance and why we should all embrace our human imperfections. Along the way he recommends five books that inspired him as a young man and continue to inspire him today.
Goalkeepers Are Different
by Brian Glanville
The Illustrated History of Football
by David Squires
The Kingfisher Football Encyclopedia
by Clive Gifford
Kane (Ultimate Football Heroes)
by Matt & Tom Oldfield
Football School Season 1: Where Football Explains the World
by Alex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton & Spike Gerrell
There are a lot of books about football for sale in bookshops these days, but which ones are any good? 11-year-old Alexander, who loves football as well as reading, shares his choices of the best football books for kids as part of our ‘By Children for Children‘ series.