South Shields pupils bring literature to life

Author and illustrator Anne Curtis has updated a Bengali fairytale during a six week residency at South Shields library. Children from Hadrian Primary School
Author and illustrator Anne Curtis has updated a Bengali fairytale during a six week residency at South Shields library. Children from Hadrian Primary School

SOUTH Shields youngsters brought literature to life during a library visit also intended to help break down cultural barriers.

Pupils at Hadrian Primary School dropped into South Shields Central Library to learn about artist and illustrator Anne Curtis’s retelling of a classic Bengali children’s fairytale.

Anne read extracts from The Old Woman And The Big Red Pumpkin – the story of an old woman who manages to trick a bear, tiger and jackal to avoid being eaten – at the Prince Georg Square library.

The Year 4 and 5 pupils are now creating puppets based on characters in the story.

The story has been translated from Bengali by a local woman, Masuma Yesmin, and made into an animated book available as an iPad app.

Richard Cheetham, a class teacher at the Baring Street school, said: “It is a great chance for the children to learn away from the classroom in a different environment.

Anne added: “I’m a great believer in one-world stories.

“I try to support children in sharing the similarities of their traditional stories while celebrating their differences.

“In this way, children can grow into adults who have a greater understanding and respect for each other.”