“Korczak’s words resonate across the years and have amazing modern-day relevance.”—Jim Harding, director of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Born in Poland in 1878, educator, physician, and legendary child advocate Janusz Korczak believed that simply understanding children is the key to being able to take care of them. It’s a basic premise too often overlooked.
This collection of one hundred quotations and passages from Korczak’s writings provides valuable advice on how to take care of, respect, and love every child.
In an inviting gift-book format, this is a heartfelt and helpful reminder of who we were as children and who we might become as parents.
When the U.N. declared 1979 "The Year of the Child," the organization dedicated the year to Janusz Korczak, a Polish-Jewish physician and child advocate who was murdered by the Nazis alongside the orphans he refused to abandon. Although his fable, King Matt the First, has been available in translation, his writings about children have not been. And while this present volume of selections may seem slim, Korczak's insights are profound. The opening selection, "No Book Is a Substitute," reminds readers not to trust childcare books more than their own thoughtful observations. Watch a child take off and put back on a shoe or sock, over and over. This is not "a senseless waste of time," Korczak says, but "real work," part of the child's development. Likewise, play is essential to children it's the only time we allow children "to take the initiative." Are you frustrated by something your child's done? Try seeing that child as a "foreigner who does not speak our language... ignorant of the laws and customs.... Treat his ignorance with respect." In this perfect inspirational gift book, Korczak reminds readers that children are basically honest, so if they don't answer our questions, that's also an answer; rather than lie, they're choosing silence. Editor Joseph closes with a biographical sketch of Korczak, useful for readers discovering this remarkable man for the first time.