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Few books are inspiring. This one IS. You can read it in less than an hour, but it is like a breath of fresh spring air. The message is simple, not patronising, laced with familiar little quotes that sharpen the points, with superb little illustrations of the children’s work and ideas. All the time it is the children’s creativity, wonder and excitement that comes bouncing through the pages.
Don’t be misled, however. It is a downright piece of anarchy in the present climate of educational commodification, corporatism, competition and marketisation. There is not a test result to be seen. The belief that the world is sharp, interesting, etched in wondrous colours and our job is to help children see these and reach for them with autonomy, joy and choice.
Review by Philip Gammage
Michael Foot retired from a primary headship in 1995 having taught in primary schools in Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire and Norfolk.
Tony Brown retired from a primary headship in 1998 having taught in primary schools in Kent, Lincolnshire and Norfolk.
Peter Holt retired in 1992 having taught at secondary schools in Buckinghamshire, Somerset, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire and then having been an Education Officer and a Senior County Adviser in Norfolk.