Give a book to a child, be a storyteller, allow yourself to enter a new world of possibilities. The Children’s Literature in Critical Contexts of Displacement website (https://childslitspaces.com/) is a virtual space where stories, picturesbooks and arts-based practices are brought together and made available for free to communities and practitioners working with people in contexts of vulnerability and flux (migration, displacement, poverty). The resources and the Toolkit hosted on this website are meant to link and strengthen connections between people, to offer creative ideas and build safe spaces where children can explore their experiences and let their imagination expand.
These resources have been developed over the past three years as a result of a growing network of researchers from the University of Glasgow and dedicated partners from Egypt and Mexico, including researchers, NGOs, governmental agencies, and volunteer initiatives in both countries. The aim of this network has been to build on expertise in children’s literature, migration and education in order to better negotiate the challenges that many multiethnic communities are addressing with few and precarious resources. The network has exchanged knowledge on current issues related to the cognitive and emotional dimensions of children’s experiences. A wide range of creative practices have been collected from reading mediators in various communities, and collaborations with authors, illustrators and creative artists have led to the development of new and successful strategies for using children’s literature and arts-based activities. All of these are captured in a Toolkit available to practitioners, while individual stories from the ground are featured regularly on the Mediators’ Space page on the website.
If you are using storytelling in your own practice or would like to share your own creative ideas of using picturebooks with children in contexts of migration, feel free to explore the website, draw on its resources and contact the team to feature your own story.