Brian from Dance Notes shares his favourite childhood book

It’s Children’s Book Week this week. We asked Brian Madigan, creator of Dance Notes, what book he remembered best from his childhood.

“The children’s book that has made the greatest impression on me is ‘Momo’ by Michael Ende (author of Never Ending Story). It is a moving, touching and ultimately disturbing story about a homeless child who befriends passers-by in the old amphitheatre where she camps out. The location could be almost anywhere in Southern Europe and I think this is kept deliberately vague.

The story is a universal one. The child, Momo, has time to spare for people who happen upon her. They therefore tell her their woes and troubles, finding comfort in her company. Momo doesn’t need to say much at all: she just listens and lets the people she meets work out for themselves their problems. They are thus very grateful, bringing food and clothing and looking out for her.

Until the Men in Grey come along. These sinister characters persuade the people of the local village not to waste their time with this vagrant child. They encourage them to ‘invest’ their time, so that it will gain value later on. The people consequently have less and less time to spare and stop visiting Momo. They become bitter, fearful and resentful of this hanger-on. And so it goes…

Brian Madigan headshotRing any bells? Of course. This is a powerful and timeless allegory, written – as all good stories should be – in language ‘even’ (or perhaps ‘only’) a child would understand. I have only read this a couple of times but it has stayed with me. I often feel that everyone should read this book: especially those in power, who feel themselves to be ‘busy’ and ‘important’.”

 

Thank you Brian – very inspiring – we want to go and find a copy of this to read for ourselves now 🙂

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