Take heed of Rosen's request

17th April 2009 at 01:00

I was delighted to see Michael Rosen's laureateship highlighted in your pages ("Laureate bids adieu", April 10). How right he is that we need to get away from "excerpt-itis" and introduce children to the world of stories, songs and poems. Nothing engages like narrative and nothing disengages more than an obsession with tracking, testing, tick-box answers and a spurious notion of "correct" interpretations of literature.

The welcome collapse of the key stage 3 Sats opens a doorway. What better to put in its place than a literature strategy that combines reading whole books and poems and looking at responses to them through other subjects? The Creative Reading Charter being developed by the Arts Council, the Reading Agency and Museums, Libraries and Archives Council is very promising.

We are standing at a crossroads. Either we embrace the possibilities offered by the field of the creative arts or we disillusion a generation. We can't afford to get it wrong.

Alan Gibbons, Author and organiser of the Campaign for the Book, Liverpool.

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