Review Blog

Apr 30 2019

The incurable imagination by Paul Russell

cover image

Illus. by Aska. EK Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781925335972.
Right from when she was born Audrey was different to other children because she had the most amazing imagination. When other children painted their parents, she painted an ogre who lived under her bead drinking tea. Other children sang songs about black sheep while Audrey made up her own songs. And when she started school and was supposed to be learning her alphabet and counting her numbers, Audrey had much more fun letting her imagination run riot. Her teachers diagnose 'imaginitis' which is not only incurable but it is also contagious and before long it is starting to spread among the children and the adults in her life.
Little children always have such wonderful imaginations that seem to disappear when the formalities of school kick in and this is an interesting look at what might happen if we just let kids develop in their own ways in their own time. The bright pictures are really appealing as they bring the weird and wonderful daydreams alive. Imagination is critical if society is to survive - we need to encourage our children to ask 'what if... ?" and see over hills and horizons to what could be beyond, to become the storytellers, the writers, the artists, the poets so books that celebrate 'imaginitis' while showing how the formal curriculum, outcomes, accountability and reports stifle this are to be welcomed, themselves celebrated and shared. We are among the significant adults in children's lives - what can we do to spread imaginitis? How can we join our children in their world, rather than dragging them into ours?
Barbara Braxton

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