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Rationale - Re-telling - Translation - Activities - Reflection

Country: Austria
Language: German
Title: Das Land der Ecken (The Land of Corners)
Author: Ulitzka I & Gepp G.
Publisher: Picus (1993)
Chosen by: Peter Schneck, Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenshaft, Forschung und Kunst, Abteilung III/6, A-1014 Wien, Minoritenplatz 5, Austria.

Rationale for Choice:
As there is such a diversity of problems within Europe, often making it difficult to find peace and understanding, this book in its simplicity suggests a possible harmony within the differences that exist.

In the country of corners everything has corners. A ball is going to disturb the system. Only the child is able to understand the message.

1. 'Phew - what a lot of bad corners today'
2. 'Yummy, they 're good, these crispy, crunchy corners.'
3. 'Darn it, we're not getting anywhere.'
4. 'What are the seven corners of the world?'
5. 'Hey, that hasn't got any...'
6. ' Have you ever seen anything like that?'
7. 'Rectangular, angular square face, Colonel Corner!'
8. 'I should have known.'
9. 'This is impossible.  Quick, come on.'
10. 'There are even more of them!'
11. 'Is that yours? Where does it come from?
12. 'Hold on tight and I'll show you how it goes.'

NB This is a working translation for educational purpose only.

Activities for use in school:
(Could possibly be used with 'A ovelha negra'- Portugal)
1. Look carefully at the illustrations :
Discuss i) Why the adults reject the ball
            ii) Why the children can accept 'round things
Make a concertina booklet using some other 'difference' to tell a similar story', and consider the importance of the 'end-pages'.

2. Do the children know of things in their lives that are 'different' and other people do not always understand? eg specific crazes or desires to watch programmes/read books that their parents do not necessarily understand.
Ask children to choose something that they would really like to have for their birthday, but they know that their parents do not understand why. Get the children to make a list of reasons why they would like it; then write a letter trying to persuade their parents that it is a good idea.

3. Ask children, in pairs, to write their own text to the story, but with and additional 4-6 pages, to extend it.
They can then record the story onto tape. These 'storybooks', plus cassettes, could then be put in the book corner.

Reflection: Might children universally need to consider acceptance of  'others'?

NB Further literature and language-based activities can be found in
Picture Books sans Frontières
available from

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ncrcl November 2004