“If you want intelligent children, give them a book …”

If-you-want-intelligent children

These words piqued* my interest as they wafted to my ears from the TV set in the other room.

Who is that?” I called out.

Jackie French,” he replied.

I jumped up, eager to see and hear more.

Jackie French is a well-known Australian author and advocate for literacy and the environment. She is currently the Australian Children’s Laureate with the task of promoting “the importance and transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians”.

I was delighted to find that Jackie’s speech was in acceptance of an Australian of the Year Award.

The media announcement released by the Minister for Social Services explains that Jackie was recognised for her “long and distinguished career as a beloved children’s writer, earning more than 60 literary prizes for her books.”

 “Jackie embodies this commitment (to changing lives in our community) and I’d like thank her for the work she continues to do sharing the power of reading and story-telling for young Australians, and her work in conservation.” 

Here is Jackie, Senior Australian of the Year 2015, accepting her award.

Failure-is-not-an-optionA-book-can-change-theThere-is-no-such-thing

 

In this next video Jackie talks about her book “Hitler’s Daughter”. You don’t have to have read the book to glean much of interest from the interview. In the discussion Jackie shares her thoughts about reading and writing. She questions how the ‘world’ in which one is, influences thoughts about good and evil and decisions that are made. She discusses how the need for evil to be resolved in a work of fiction differs between children and adults. She talks about whether it is necessary for a child to apologise for the sins of the previous generation, and how still controversial issues can be dealt with in an historical situation. It is worth listening to if you simply want something to ponder over.

Being an early childhood teacher I am more familiar with Jackie’s picture books such as

Diary of a Wombat, Baby Wombat’s Week, and Josephine Wants to Dance, which are delightful.

IMG_4302

Here is a video of Jackie reading Diary of a Wombat.

I have just discovered that Hitler’s Daughter is available as an audiobook, so it is going onto my list!

 

I congratulate Jackie on her award and thank her for the contribution she is making to the lives of so many and the future of our planet.

 

 

 

*piqued

In this sentence, I am using the word “piqued” to mean “stimulated or aroused my interest”.

How can one word be used to express opposite meanings? I don’t know how anyone is expected to learn or understand the nuances of this language we call English!

When I checked with my thesaurus to ensure I had chosen the correct word, this is what I found:

piqued 1         piqued 2

How many other words do you know that could almost be listed as its antonym?

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of this post.

22 thoughts on ““If you want intelligent children, give them a book …”

  1. roweeee

    Thanks so much for letting me know that Jackie French is our Senior Australian of the year. I have been following Rosie Batty’s story but hadn’t heard about Jackie. She really deserves it. We’ve read quite a few of her books and multiple times. I actually picked up a family of stuffed toy wombats at the op shop and the adult is huge and probably close to life-sized and takes up so much space in my daughter’s stuffed room but we love it and it reminds me of Diary of a Wombat.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I love the sound of your daughter’s stuffed room with all those wombats. Sounds like a wonderful place for story telling.
      I was very excited to hear an author, a children’s picture book author, win an Australian of the Year Award.
      Jackie is indeed an awesome lady.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. D'Ann K

    Thank you for sharing in your blog about Jackie French. Books are really power to make a change in our world. As a teacher, it is my duty to instill interest to my students to read books. T

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for your comment. Sharing a love of books is a wonderful opportunity for making a positive change in the world. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  3. Bec

    Hi Nor, great to see Jackie French being recognised for her work! I believe we have a few of her gardening books here. She is very inspirational! Hitler’s daughter sounds fascinating, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      She is! I used to love watching her gardening segments on TV. She seems so laidback while very passionate; an interesting combination. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  4. Annecdotist

    Thanks for introducing us to this amazing woman, Norah. You must be so excited to see her recognised in this way, because I see so much of what you believe echoed in her words (obviously you must have said them first, so I’m really crediting you here). And she covered so much in her brief acceptance speech (and I love the way that in Australia these things are OUTSIDE) you couldn’t help but cheer her. As for “the afternoon tea of life” – definitely going to steal that!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      “Afternoon tea” is a good one. Especially if it is high tea! With a glass of champagne! Thanks for crediting me for the origin of the ideas. You do make me smile. I’m afraid my voice is small among many. Or should I say I’m pleased to add my voice to the many more authoritative than I! 🙂 There is strength in numbers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Sarah Brentyn

    I always thought how difficult it would be to learn this language with all its idioms and exceptions to rules. There are so many words with very different meanings. Especially between British and American English. “Piqued” reminds me of “pissed” meaning “extremely angry” and also “drunk”. Not antonyms, but worlds apart. (Unless you get angry when you drink.) O_o

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. TanGental

    Great post. Go Jackie. I love it when someone turns a received wisdom – here reading difficulties into teaching challenges. I will try and watch the clips later. As for contradictory English there must be others but all I have is the current vogue to use sick to mean good amongst the younger generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. writersideup

    Norah, what a fantastic post. I didn’t know of Jackie French and though I really didn’t want to take the time to listen to a 15+ min. video tonight, I was drawn into it immediately. This woman is brilliant! What a fascinating interview. I’m so glad to be aware of her and can easily see why she’s in the position she’s in. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks Donna. I know what you mean about listening to a 15 minute video. Sometimes 15 minutes seems to be just too much of a commitment to make. But I felt the same as you. Once I started listening I was compelled to continue. Jackie asks some very interesting and important questions. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Jackie is an amazing lady. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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