Making friends and the value of friendship are among the most influential moments of childhood. Who they meet can shape their views, values and knowledge of themselves and others for the rest of their lives. Young children are naturally curious and less exposed to social ideas so will often make friends with those outside their initial circle. Unfortunately most of us as adults have an ingrained desire to stick with our own kind. This desire is at the heart of many of our society’s issues of racism and prejudice. However it is a desire which springs merely from the fear of not fitting in, becoming an outsider and being misunderstood rather than any form of survival necessity. We (so called) individuals choose to be this way, yet ironically it is from those who are different to us that we can often learn the most. Their fresh perspective can add value to our lives and if we’re lucky enough, once in a while someone like this may come into our lives. Children of course don’t always see these invisible man made barriers we’ve created in society and Stig of the Dump is a perfect example of this.
Synopsis: This is a story of how friendship can develop and grow in the most unlikely of places. At the heart of the story is 8 year old Barney, a lonely boy who likes to explore and play in a nearby chalk pit where he finds Stig, an old man living in a cave amid the rubble and rubbish. Barney’s adventures with Stig teach him the importance of giving and being understanding towards others and that despite their age differences, he doesn’t just learn from Stig but realises he too can teach Stig a thing or two in return.
Despite the length of the car journey we were enduring at the time, I was surprised by the calmness and silence this story instilled from the back seats. So much so, bar the occasional giggle or gasp I had to check several times that my two boys hadn’t just fallen asleep! Instead each time they were very much awake and engaged, listening intently as they gazed out their windows. The story is read by the well known Tony Robinson so the familiarity and gentleness to his voice I’m sure contributed to this reaction.
Things we thought would be nice additions to Stig’s home were a recycled plastic bottle blanket, chalk figurines made by Stig for decoration and tin can wind chimes.
Conclusion: One to keep the children quiet and engaged.
Type: Audio CD
Length: approx. 2 hours 45 mins
No. of CD’s: 3
Recommended Age: 8+
Publisher: Puffin Audio Books
Edition: Unabridged ed. 2003
Cover Illustration: Edward Ardizzone
Our Rating: 4 out of 5
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