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‘Dreams of Freedom’

‘Dreams of Freedom’
Dreams of Freedom is a feast of visual stories – brave words and beautiful pictures, woven together to inspire young readers to stand up for others and make a difference.’

- Michael Morpurgo (From the powerful forward to the book)

Following on from the story of the children’s manifesto at Imagine Children’s Festival last week it seemed to be a natural next step on this blog journey to talk about Amnesty International’s Dreams of Freedom (published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books on 5 March 2015) . In this blog I interview Amnesty publisher Nicky Parker about Dreams of Freedom and the books that Amnesty co-publish and endorse.

I wrote a little on the need to find books that help children navigate our world in an article for The Guardian online recently about books to nurture empathy.

Thanks to the contributions of so many people I was helped to begin to build a bookshelf of stories that have human rights at their heart. Dreams of Freedom is a jewel of a book to add to those shelves.

In half term I went to a workshop with Amnesty and Chickenshed Theatre Company to find out more about Dreams of Freedom and how Amnesty Publisher Nicky Parker has collaborated with publishers, educators, theatre makers and artists to explore how stories can help the smallest child understand and empathise with the biggest questions and threats to equality we face in the world today.Chickenshed workshop leader exploring the words and images of the page in ‘Dreams of Freedom’ entitled ‘Freedom through equality’ with words by Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca tribe and art work by R. Gregory Christie.

What’s the background to Dreams of Freedom and Amnesty working with Children’s Publishers?

Children looking at a book together

Exploring the image ‘Freedom to Feel Safe’ by Dale Blankenaar and words by Jack Mapanje.

Boy holds up Chris Riddell illustration of a candle for the 'Freedom to make a difference' page

Holding up ‘Freedom to Make a Difference. Illustration by Chris Riddell.

Two girls holding up 'freedom to be yourself' spread from Dreams of Freedom

Holding ‘Freedom to be yourself” If I am different I make no apology…’ words by Clare Balding. Illustration by Antje von Stemm.