________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 1 . . . . September 4, 1998

cover Children Speak.

Bozenna Heczko and Georgine Strathy (Directors and Animators), and Mary Page (Producer).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1996.
9 min. 18 sec. VHS $29.95
Order number 9196 079.

Subject Headings:
Children and death.
Children and philosophy.

Grades 4 and up / Ages 9 and up.
Review by Katie Cook.

* /4

This short animated film contains a voice track edited from conversations with children, ages 5-7, expressing their personal mythologies about birth, life and death. While the children's voices are, at times, difficult to decipher, their views on the world are often refreshing and engaging. Mother Nature and God are married, and the Devil and God are both boys. You get to heaven in a big truck that picks you up from your grave, and, if you're really, really good in heaven, you can come back to Earth to be alive again, but in another person's body.

      These views say much about children, and any courses that deal with child psychology and child development would benefit from this "life from a child's point of view" approach. However, even better would be access to actual children where this exercise could be repeated in person. Younger children may find this film interesting as a starting point for a writing assignment or a similar exercise in expressing views on life, death and birth.

      The full colour animation flows seamlessly with the change in the children's descriptions. At times, the images change as children go back and revise the things they have said, a technique which holds the interest of the viewer. The soft background music is appropriate and lends a professional quality to the video.

      No written information accompanies this video, but the resourceful teacher could incorporate it in a variety of ways. English classes studying mythology could look at the mythology of children, and the students could do their own interviews and compilations. History or Religion students could study the mythologies the children have mixed all together and decipher where they originate. Nonetheless, uses for this video in most classes would be limited.

Not recommended.

Katie Cook is a social studies teacher and teacher-librarian at the Steinbach Regional Secondary School in Steinbach, Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1998 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364