The SNFCC’s Book Club for Children renews its appointment for December, facilitated by theater pedagogue Artemis Manou.
This month’s meeting will be based on Michael Morpurgo’s book The Snowman, inspired by Raymond Briggs’s classical tale.
Young readers will have the opportunity to share impressions, feelings and thoughts, as well as to embark on an imaginary journey, sparked by the book of the month, into the fascinating worlds emerging from its pages.
When young James wakes up one December morning and sees the snow falling, he rushes outside and starts to make a snowman. With coal eyes, an old green hat, a scarf and a tangerine nose, his snowman is perfect! James can hardly bear to leave him in the evening and go inside to sleep. But, in the middle of the night, James wakes and creeps outside – and to his amazement, the snowman has come to life...
The classic tale by Raymond Briggs has been captivating young readers for more than 40 years! Starting out as an entirely wordless illustrated storybook, it was adapted into a film and theater play, receiving several awards. In this unique edition, Michael Morpurgo recasts Briggs’s timeless tale, puts the pictures into words, and finds the opportunity to even talk about loneliness, isolation, the need for acceptance, and the feeling of empowerment that comes, for children and adults alike, from feeling accepted.
Michael Morpurgo has authored more than one hundred and thirty books, many of which have been awarded. His best-known book, the War Horse, was adapted into a film, directed by Steven Spielberg, and was nominated for several Academy Awards. It was also adapted for theater to high acclaim. Along with his wife Clare, Michael Morpurgo founded the charity Farms for City Children. For this innovative venture, the two were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1999. In 2003, he became the third official, state-appointed Children's Laureate, an honorary distinction originated by Morpurgo along with his friend and Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. In 2017, he was awarded a knighthood for his services to literature and charity.
Artemis Manou holds a BA in Greek Language and Literature (Linguistics major) from the University of Athens and an MA in Teaching Greek as a Foreign/Second Language. In addition, she has graduated from the Drama School of Vassilis Diamantopoulos. After working for a few years in private education and as an actress, since 2009 she has been combining her love of theater and children, working as a motivational speaker and a theater director. She has co-operated with Onassis Stegi at the Youth Theater Festival, where she wrote theatrical plays and directed performances for teenagers, and at the experiential learning program “Contemporary Art: First you live... then you understand” that Onassis Stegi carried out in primary schools, where she organized workshops for creative expression on contemporary art stimuli together with Tzeni Argyriou, Andreas Kasapis and Myrto Tikof. Since 2017, she has been working at the National Theatre, facilitating workshops for children, teenagers and educators. She has authored a total of 15 plays for teens. A special place in her heart belongs to the National Theatre’s “Theater in Greek” program with the participation of Greek and refugee teenagers. The theatrical play The Journey, which she co-authored with Vangelis Kyriakou, was included in the repertoire of the National Theatre Young People’s Stage in 2018. She was born and lives in Athens. But she dreams of living in many other places too – together with her family.
Activities for children before the Reading Club meeting:
- In the book you read, James meets several other showmen in addition to his own. Some look alike, some are quite different. What would your very own snowman look like? Paint or build him just as you imagine him and bring him with you to our meeting, so we get to know him too. (And if by chance it snows before our meeting, make him out of snow!)
-James’s Snowman can fly and takes James on a journey over the world. What kind of (super)power does your snowman have?
- Now think and write down on a piece of paper what you might want to tell him. Which of your thoughts and your (simpler or deeper) desires would you share with your snowman? Let me remind you of what James told his:
«“James told the snowman all about himself – well, not all... Just the interesting things, like his best toys and Paul Millard, who he wanted as his best friend, and the green mountain bike, and how he wished, wished, wished he could stop stuttering and stammering…”
Or, if you prefer, write a letter to Santa telling him what you’d wish for, what you’d like to ask of him this year. It may be a gift or anything else you might desire (but are reluctant to ask for?)
The Greek edition of Michael Morpurgo The Snowman is available from Metaichmio Publications.
Tuesday 28/12 | 17:00–18:15
For boys and girls aged 7 to 10
Up to 22 participants
Free participation by online pre-registration
Pre-registrations starts on Friday 03/12
Anyone reserving a seat at the Book Club is required to have read the book of the month.
For the entry of the public in the activity area, the minors from 4 to 17 years old can present, a statement of negative self test (24 hours), a certificate of diagnostic test PCR (72 hours) or rapid (48 hours), according to the latest provisions of the Joint Ministerial Decision.
The use of face mask and social distancing measures are mandatory in indoor and outdoor areas of the SNFCC, in accordance with Hellenic National Public Health Organization regulations.
Due to public health measures, there may be changes regarding either the staging of the event, or the maximum number of participants.
Children should always be accompanied by parents or adult chaperones, who should stay outside the activity area for as long as the activity lasts.
As part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center's collaboration with the National Library of Greece, the children's book for December's Reading Club has been chosen by NLG staff members.