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Creative Writing and Children’s Literature

posted by Carla on Monday, 20 March 2017

Creative writing is one of the most enjoyable past-times. Whether you are writing just for enjoyment or because you want to make it a career. Also known as ‘the art of making things up,’ creative writing is a vital part of modern society.

What is Creative Writing?

For me, It’s writing done in a way that is not academic or technical but still attracts an audience. A rather loose explanation I know! However, to elaborate, creative writing can for the most part be considered any writing that is original and self-expressive. For example, a news article, cannot be considered creative writing. This is because its main purpose is to present facts and not to express the feelings or opinions of the writer. While a news article can be entertaining, its main purpose is to convey the hard facts.

As part of this a blog I asked one of Oxbridge Home Learnings previous students about the Creative Writing Diploma course, Helena said,

“Quite simply the best courses out of the dozen or so I have completed over the years. I am a life long learner. I’m expressive, poetic and spiritual but wanted some guidance as how to write down the feelings I have, how to convey and how to inspire others.”

This got me thinking as to why I chose the career I did. Firstly, I remember being taught to read and write well before i went to school at the tender age of 4. I remember literature and writers being part of my childhood, not just Roald Dahl, Eric Carle and Judith Kerr although “The Tiger who came to Tea” still evokes many happy memories from my childhood. But my parents and grandparents were always literature led and great story tellers. I’ve been aware of Shakespeare, Wilde, Twain, Orwell and Lee since I can remember!

Children’s literature:

Recently I have been engaging in more Children’s Literature than when I was a child in preparation of my daughter starting Nursery. Here are some of my thoughts:

The World of Peter Rabbit Complete Collection

Beatrix Potter. An astounding 23 books completes this and it took some reading! – In a word “Timeless” this set also includes publisher’s notes describing how she worked with her publisher to create the charming stories. No child or adult should not know these!

The Lie Tree

Frances Hardinge – Perhaps a little advanced (not for me) for my nursery aged child but an amazing book, with a great story, engaging. Not only winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2015 but also the Costa Book of the Year. And in my opinion well deserved.

Songbirds Phonics Collection

A huge 36 books completes this collection. Written by Julia Donaldson, the author of The Gruffalo. The Songbirds Phonics Collection are especially designed to help ease young children through the process of learning to read. From the Oxford Reading Tree, this collection combines playful rhythm-and-rhyme tales with vibrant and interesting illustrations sure to engage little ones. Great for encouraging gradual progress and for preparing children for studies. An excellent starting point in Children’s literature.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

I was inspired by International Womens Day for this read in Children’s literature, the stories of 100 heroic women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. Published on the back of a phenomenally successful crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter the book is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.

Now, no Book review page would be complete without mentioning the ever popular Peppa Pig, I swear this character follows me around!

Peppa Pig: Peppa Loves World Book Day! World Book Day 2017

It’s World Book DayPeppa and George are allowed to dress up as their favourite characters for school. A great way of getting younger children aware of World Book Day and that books are for all, everyday.

So to conclude and finish my story, reading to our children has never been more important. It is recommended that Parents instil the importance of reading aloud to children during the early years. A jump-start on reading results in a jump-start on language comprehension. An abundance of research all points to the same thing. Children that read and children that are read to daily from an early age perform better in their school years. As children move through the phases of listening to stories, sounding out words, stringing words together to make a sentence, and then, eventually, reading a complete book, they begin to master language, improve communication skills, and their comprehension blossoms.

Go on. Give it a try!