As part of ERA’s commitment to helping licence holders make best use of the material available to them, we have decided to start highlighting our ‘top pick’ each week. We’re hoping to reveal multiple educational uses for a single episode, series, or film with enough time to act as a ‘heads up’ for teachers to be able to record, or access the material.
BBC Four’s The Secret Life of Books returns with another special series on children’s books. The series begins on Monday 4th of July with a look at the lasting legacy of E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It.
Edith Nesbit is probably best known these days for The Railway Children, but her earlier book Five Children and It was even more influential, its blend of magic and the everyday paving the way for the Narnia stories and Harry Potter. A classic fantasy story about a group of siblings who discover a creature that can grant wishes, Nesbit’s warm, witty children’s fable was shaped by her own troubled family life.
In this film, actress and Nesbit fan Samantha Bond discovers how a rootless childhood and terrible personal tragedy influenced Five Children and It, delving into the origins and legacy of a book that can be arguably said to have kick-started modern children’s fiction.
This episode will be complemented by a re-airing of the 1991 adaptation of Five Children and It which is running all this week on BBCFour. The Secret Life of Children’s Books will continue next week with an episode exploring Reverend Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies.
As this programme is a joint production with the Open University, there are plenty of related resources available on the OU website here: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/tv/the-secret-life-childrens-books
If the programme inspires you to look into the lives of other children’s authors, you might be interested in our round up of radio programmes focussing on the life and work of Roald Dahl, which is available here: http://era.org.uk/wp2/blog/roald-dahl-centenary
You can also access curated clips through our new learning platform .To use the platform, you just need to email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set-up a login so that you can access the site freely.
The place of inspiration for Five Children and It perhaps? from The Secret life of Children’s Books
A Complicated Love Triangle from The Secret Life of Children’s Books
Resurrection of a Long Lost Son from The Secret Life of Children’s Books