Rosemary Sutcliff relished the imagination and creativity of children, as well as the responses of readers (young and old) to her novels and stories. Brian Alderson, former Children’s Books Editor of The Times, once recalled in an article in Books for Keeps an anecdote which dates from some time after the publication of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth in 1954. Rosemary recounted to a ‘bevy of librarians’:
‘That’s not a sand-castle,’ said the busy child on the beach, ‘I’m building a temple to Mithras’!
She might therefore also have appreciated this intriguing little experiment/demonstration on how you can foster or you can constrain the imagination of children:
And it also puts me in mind of one of my favourite ‘lectures’, by Ken Robinson, a former colleague when I worked at Warwick University. Look out for the story of the little girl who is drawing a picture of God …