“Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. “

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Pullman Philip 2

Wise words from Philip Pullman, who received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005:

Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. If you don’t let a child have fresh air and play, the damage is also visible, but not so quickly. If you don’t give a child love, the damage might not be seen for some years, but it’s permanent.

But if you don’t give a child art and stories and poems and music, the damage is not so easy to see. It’s there, though. Their bodies are healthy enough; they can run and jump and swim and eat hungrily and make lots of noise, as children have always done, but something is missing.

It’s true that some people grow up never encountering…

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About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
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10 Responses to “Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. “

  1. Tanya Cliff says:

    Excellent share, Jennie!

  2. reocochran says:

    Astrid Lundgrid wrote the Pippi Longstocking books, didn’t he? 🙂
    These are some great and sound words delivered by Philip Pullman. I will comment on the rest of his quotation, Jennie later.
    I am up at my Mom’s senior living apartment and we are watching”Castle” reruns. 🙂

    • jlfatgcs says:

      Did he write Pippi Longstocking? Oh, I should know that!! Many thanks. The words in this essay are fabulous.

      • reocochran says:

        Oops, poor spelling or close proximity on cell phone of “u” and “i.” I meant to write Astrid Lindgren, Jennie.

        She and not “he” ~isn’t this so silly? Anyway, she wrote the Pippi Longstocking books!

        Good thing we are friends! You might think I was an “idiot.” Ha ha! I know you wouldn’t; but how many corrections must I make?

      • jlfatgcs says:

        No worries, Robin. I knew exactly what you meant. It’s the teacher in you (and me) that makes you crazy with grammar and spelling, which is a good thing. Thanks again for the author info!

  3. As a children’s art instructor, I wholly agree with Mr. Pullman. Some schools have also dropped teaching children penmanship; thinking texting is what the youths prefer, anyway. The arts are known to stimulate parts of the brain that would otherwise remain inactive. Thank you for posting this invaluable article!

    • jlfatgcs says:

      Yes, yes, you are so right! Dropping art in school is as terrible as eliminating sports. Like you, I think the words that Mr. Pullman says are true and incredibly important for the world to hear. Many thanks for your words, and glad to post the article. -Jennie-

  4. Wise words. He highlights the two worst deprivations of a child…and how right; the lack of love and creativity is not known for years later. In essence the effects are through covert abuse, likely one people cant spot.

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