How Dead Are the Dead in Funnybones?

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How Dead Are the Dead in Funnybones?

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


The Story Museum, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP


In this talk, a collaboration between The Story Museum and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes, Nick Swarbrick will explore the ambiguities around how death is represented to children, from the macabre to the comic, from the poignant to the factual. Are dinosaurs still alive? What about the skeletons in Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s Funnybones? A reading of modern children’s literature suggests that current thinking about death has a number of important aspects – and that not all of them prepare adults for talking about an important subject!

Nick Swarbrick is a Principal Lecturer in the School of Education, lecturing on subjects as diverse as children’s spirituality and outdoor play. His research looks at picture books as a lens on contemporary issues: he has recently published a short study on fatherhood in the works of Antony Browne and Jill Murphy, with his colleague Mat Tobin.