Valerie Yules Letters

March 26, 2015


INSIDE CHILDREN’S MINDS, edited by Valerie Yule, Queensland: Bookpal. 2014.    Illustrated with children’s drawings, 470  pages, $31.95.. Paperback  ISBN 13: 9781742844299 ISBN 10: 1742844294. Hardback .ISBN: 978174284537.Available from Bookpal, online booksellers and Australian bookshops like READINGS, Carlton

The book is a selection from thousands of stories told to me by children about their drawings when I was a clinical child psychologist and schools psychologist, taking their stories down in shorthand. It includes research on children’s language.

The stories in this book show the world as children see it, and how they can imagine things they cannot see – a world of work and play, fairy-tales and space adventures, success and failure, and ways of living, the effects of physical and mental disorders, delinquency, rejection and despair, their imagination about war in fantasy and experienced in reality. and their common symbols. The differences between the stories told by fortunate children and those who are disadvantaged reveal the impact on the imagination of a child of stresses, in economic circumstances, war, family breakdown, physical and mental disabilities, and learning difficulties.  Adults may see only the outward life and actions of a ‘problem child’, but it is the vivid imaginative life that can hold the key to the child’s future. Many stories seem to foreshadow their teller’s adult prospects, and a child of six may already be preparing to hope or give up. So many already seem destined to be the villains and victims of the next generation.

Are there differences between girls’ and boys’ imagination? What leads delinquents to their antisocial ends?  Why do later adults act against their own interests? What insights are there to Theodore Dalrymple’s Life at the Bottom

Psychiatrist Russell Gardner observes, ‘We use stories about ourselves to guide our every action’

“These stories not only give the reader much delight but also a rare and special insight into how children think.”  Dr Dorothy Rowe.

“Your spirited treasury is full of delights and wisdom, as I’d expect,” Marina Warner.

“I’m immensely impressed by the range and detail of the material. This must surely be a work of value to educators and psychologists .” Dr June Factor.

 The book is the fruit of 40 years of research during the author’s work as a clinical child psychologist, schools psychologist and academic, in Australia, Scotland, England and Belfast. There are defects in formatting because I have left writing up too late, and am now 86, recovering from a stroke.

This book is for the general public, psychologists, educators, and literary specialists.

Valerie Yule


July 23, 2010

Book on Children’s Stories and Drawings

To consider what may be possible in the real world and the stories children tell.
A book that is for anybody interested in the full development of human beings, individual and social – including parents, teachers and those concerned with raising children. Something that is educative but inspiring, with a coherent philosophy yet practical in outcomes, honest yet humane (and that’s not all!

Brief rationale. Children’s imagination is of special interest and has a special appeal. Imagination is the distinctively human ability to consider what may be possible in the real world, not only in fantasy. Children are still not sure which is which, and they use symbols to express what they do not yet have the language to say directly. This book is about what children imagine, and how their experiences shape it; and about what happens to children’s imagination as they grow up and why – and why this matters. It therefore addresses important contemporary issues, and is relevant to our future.
The aims of the book are to help adults understand children, and to stimulate imagination in practical problem-solving, innovation and enterprise, and to encourage a very pleasurable human activity in fantasy and wonder. My aim is not to say everything that can be said about children and imagination, but what I think needs to be said. It is about imagination, and it is imaginative.
Readers: Primary: The general public, thinkers and people interested in the arts.
cf. the popularity of William Sargeant, Jay Gould, Desmond Morris, Richard Gregory, Bronowski, and others who have written about the mind and behaviour in a readable way.
Secondary: Teachers and students. For courses such as English, creative writing, aesthetics, art, social issues, introductory science, future studies, history and philosophy of thought, general school studies, teacher-training and adult education.

Content: I think this book is important because it presents new and stimulating ideas and material on an important and controversial subject.
It makes connections between concepts, fields of thinking, and disciplines.
It breaks new ground as a non-specialist book for general readers, with original ideas to stimulate imagination and thinking, and with a strong practical future-orientation. Much information is little known.

Original features include
The definition of Imagination as ‘the ability to consider what may be possible, in the real world, as well as in fantasy’, and its implications.
Setting the development of imagination within the whole life-span, not ending with adolescence.
Evidence about the development of children’s imagination.
A rethinking of practical imagination in education.
Application of imagination to a vision of the future, and to problem-solving,

Style and format: Chapters vary in style according to their content, and are each self-contained as essays. There is therefore some overlap, but this redundancy may be necessary to ensure that the messages are understood. A possible layout of the section on children’s stories is a setting in smaller print, with drawings opposite.

Existing publications: To the best of my knowledge there has been nothing published quite like what I seek to say. Bronowski, Storr and Koestler have probably come closest in some of the general themes. The topic of imagination is popular today – the ERIC Education data-base listed 824 journal articles and papers between 1982-93, and hundreds of books are currently in print. Of those I have checked so far, none have the original content and structure of the book I have in mind. Books on imagination have tended to be academic and literary or Buck-u-uppo, similar to ‘Improving your memory’, focussing on fantasy and self-expression in writing, or related to the earlier bandwagons on ‘Creativity’ (See categories of books currently in print)
The manuscript also contains a great deal of original research material from my work and play with children.
The author. The book is the fruit of 30 years of research, practical observation, and reflection, during the author’s work as a researcher and academic, clinical child psychologist and schools psychologist in Universities, hospitals, schools and clinics in Australia, Scotland and England. She has published extensively in the area. See CV and list of relevant publications, which include What happens to children, an anthology of stories told to her by distressed and disadvantaged children (Angus & Robertson 1981), part of her collection of over 2000 stories told by children.

Drawings and stories illustrating particular issues
Cross-cultural – from different countries and cultures
Horror and disaster in the imaginations of ‘normal’ children
Myself. This collection includes drawings of ‘Myself’ by every child in a school in a country town, Prep to Grade 6.
Art and technique. What happens when children are given a minimal training in drawing by an untrained teacher. Comparisons of drawings of ‘A Person’ by a complete grade in a disadvantaged school, with drawings on the same topic by ‘untrained’ children in other schools.
Favorite topics for children’s stories and drawings. Sets of drawings on children’s favorite topics

TABLE OF CONTENTS – not in final order
Stories by Children.

A02 FAIRY Stories

A03 CLASS & SCHOOL groups

A04a. Children’s Art





A09 SYMBOLS folder
A09.1 Children’s symbols Introd.
A09.2 Identity myths.
A09.3 Holes and buttons.s.
A9.4 Symbols – the sun.
A09.5 symbols -sinking ship
A09.6 Traffic and car crashes.
A09.7 Symbols Running boys
A09.8 Birds and animals.
A09.8 Mother animals.
A09.9 Multiple personsS.
A09.10 Space &Plane stories
A09.11 Clowns.
A09.12 rain, snow, mud.
A09.13. The Castle.
A09.14 Excelsior.
A09.16 Repetition of disaster.
A09.17 A Haunted House.

A10a Horror stories by normal children
A10b Unhappy endings

A11 Favorite tos
A11 Animals s & stories
A11 Dinosaurs.
A11 Play & games stories.

A12 1. Perceptions of schools s
A12 2 School behaviour.
A12 3. School Children tures.
A12 4. Pictures of teachers.
A12 5 Friends.
A12 6 Schools History&TV lessons.
A12 7 Stories children’s written.

A13a1 Families.
A13a2 Happy families.
A13a3 Unhappy families.
A13a4 Separation and Divorce.
A13a5 Siblings in the family.
A13b Homes.
A13C Mothers, kindlyS.
A13C Mothers, weak &S.
A13d Fathers+S.

A14a 1 War and terrorism&s.Intro.
A14a 2 Children’s experience of war.
A14a 3 Children’s fantasiesof war& S.
A14b Cars, trains and planes.
A14c Romance & babies.
A14d Crime.
A14d Dangerous men.
A14e World of work.
A14f Adult play.
A14g Religion C’sStories.
A14h Current affairs.
A14i Authorities in stories

A15 Childs’ concept of hero and brave in WISCS responses & S

A16.1 School & organizations Songs Youth Ching & Auburn.
A16.2 InfluencesTV & Film.
A16.3 Influence books Arthur Mee’s Encyclopedia
A16.4 Commerce T-shirts on sale.jpg
A16.5 Stories boys &Girls suburban.
A16b MESSAGE OF THE BOOK folder^ A large section.

A17 ACTION & THOUGHT, reality & fantasy and defence mechanisms ^

A18.1 Creation Stories act of creation&s.
A18.2 Dream and reality.
A18.3 Mechanisms of defence.
A18.1 Conclusions. Children’s FUTURE
A18.2 Conclusions. Children’s’ stories
A18.3 Conclusions. Imagination and Environment G3

Stories children References not read
Bibliography C’s imag.
Refs C’s Imag. Other books
Stories Children Refs, conclusions, quotes,citations, appendics

A20 Messages fr horror movies
A20.2 ImagChildren’s storiesCHUKOVSKY.

B INDEX part B. PSYCHIATRIC children’s stories

B Preface.Labels for children.

B01 CHILDREN out of touch with reality
B01A Stories Children with psychosis -Intro&storiesS.
B01 1. Psychotic borderland Neville S.
B01 2. Schizophrenia Angela series
B01 3.Cookalookaloo.
B01 4. Child on the edge of reality – potdog
B01 5. Kite Man.
B01 6. Paranoia

B02 Stories Index Physicaldisorder.
B02.01 Children with Epilepsy.
B02.01 Child with Epilepsy Series Dale

B02.02 Children with Brain Damage.
B02.02 Cerebral Palsy

B02.03 Cardiac Defect

B02.04 Adhd Multiple-Minimal
B02 041 Mark, with ADHD
B02 042 Hyperactivity and Attention disorder
B02 043 Case study, Paul, an adopted child who is hyperkinetic and aggressive.
B02 044 Multiple Minimal Handicaps. A child with glasses
B02 045 Something after her. Debbie L.
B02 046 Ghost Adhd.
B02 047 Twobouncers.Jpg

B02.06 Cerebellum Missing

B02.07 Muscular Dystrophy-

B02.08 Deformities

B02.09 Spina Bifida

B02.10 Anorexia Nervosa

B02.11 Progressive Neurological Disorder

B02.12 Eye Problem

B02.13 Obesity-

B02.14 Thalidomide.

B02.15 Failure To Thrive.

B02.16 Accidents

B03 1 TO SORT^.

B03 2 Hyperactivity
B03 3 Repetition compulsion

B04 1 Stories by violent children
B04 2 Psychopath.

B05 1 Delinquent Children Anneliese Pontius.
B05 2 Stories by delinquentchildren 1.
B05 3 Stealing and delinquency
B05 4 Boys in a gang.
B05 5 Arsonists.

B06 ANXIOUS children
B06 1 StoriesAnxious childrens.
B06 2 Phobias.
B06 3 Fears of attack.
B06 4 Repetitioncompulsion defencemechanisms.
B06 5 Varieties of anxiety.

B07 Stories by retarded children.

B08 1 Children’s responses to school failure.
B08 1 Stories & learning diffs&S
B08 2 Boog eyes Girl&smallboy PhobiaSchool panic.
B08 3Stories Language Difficulties&s.
B08 4 Learning diffs familrelationsTrevo
B08 5 1 Write&speak.When the rart went out see dis see sna.
B08 5 2 Balance.
B08 6 Inattention & Micky Mouselollipop.
B08 7 Emotional problem Frank isolate.
B08 8 Common symbols of children failing at school.
B08 8. The road is confusion.
B08 9 reading refusers. Orphanage Literacy Danny
B08 10 The genius teacher.
B08 vy draw

B09 1 Disadvantage and Affluence.
B09 2 Disrupted homes & divorce.
B09 3 Disadvantaged Children roaming.
B09 4 Criminals’ children – parents in prison
B09 5 Inadequate parents.

B101 Unwanted children.
B102 Rejected childrenhungry.
B103 Isolates Disadvantaged or rejected childrenS.
B104 feelings of rejection children in institutions.
B105 Fatal stories.

B11.1 The Other Child^.
B11.2 Self in hospital.
B11.3 Parents sick .

B12 HAPPY/UNHAPPY CHILDREN COMPARED happy/unhappy children^
Of Happy/Unhappy Children^

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