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Little Hands

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Alistair Morgan’s formative reading experiences

Alistair Morgan reading<

A great while ago, when the world was full of wonders, before he’d heard of The Paris Review, before he was writing acclaimed stories, Alistair Morgan had little hands and this is what he read …

Alistair’s earliest memory of books and reading:

The first book I remember was The Best Storybook Ever by Richard Scarry. I was about four years old. I probably liked the pictures (and still do). As for reading, I was taught to read with ITA (Initial Teaching Alphabet) which was a kind of phonetic alphabet. It was also a disaster.


Alistair’s picture books:
Asterix and Tintin were favourites for many years. The humour is wonderful in that it appeals to adult and child alike.


Wikipedia has this to say about Asterix:

A key feature of the Asterix books in all translations are the constant puns used as names: the names of the two protagonists come from asterisk and obelisk, Asterix being the star of the books (Latin aster — derived from the Greek word αστήρ (aster) [star] and Celtic rix [king, cognate to Latin rex, Sanskrit rājā and related to German Reich and English reign]), and Obelix being a menhir delivery-man. This is a double pun, since as well as meaning a stone monolith, the word obelisk can also refer to the typographical dagger (†) that is often used to denote the second footnote on a page after an asterisk (*) has been used to reference the first. (Although Uderzo has said that “Goscinny just wanted to make sure that our work would appear first in an encyclopaedia of comics.”[3]) Some people make the mistake of saying “asterix” instead of the English “asterisk” or French “asterisque”. [4]
Each cultural group in Asterix has a characteristic ending for names (though there are occasionally notable exceptions). Nearly all the male Gaulish characters’ names end in -ix (probably a reference to real-life Gaulish chieftains such as Vercingetorix although only the names of Gaulish kings — and not even all of them — ended in -ix, and when they did, it was always -rix). Other English language examples include the chief (Vitalstatistix), the druid (Getafix), and an old man (Geriatrix) with a young wife, who is never named.[5] Most Gaulish women’s names end in “a’, such as Bacteria, Impedimenta, and Influenza. Roman characters’ names end with -us as in Noxious Vapus, Crismus Bonus, Sendervictorius and Appianglorius.

Aims of The Little Hands Trust
• To support initiatives that promote reading for enjoyment.
• To mentor African literary artists, including writers, illustrators and editors, to produce creative, suitable and appropriate children’s storybooks for children of various ages with a focus on early childhood (ages 0 to 9 years).
• To collaborate with African publishers to increase and sustain publication of children’s books in African languages. To initiate and support translations of stories between African languages, from African languages to ex-colonial languages and from ex-colonial languages to African languages.
• To help to orientate and educate adults in the importance and significance of reading to and with children.


Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    August 4th, 2008 @17:24 #

    Now that is a cool graphic. Authors should count themselves lucky to have their graphics done by you.


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