- Searching the Online Catalog (Library Catalog Search)
- Finding Books in the Library
- Journals and Databases
- Children's Literature Awards
- Young Adult Literature Awards
- Keeping Current
- About the Children's Literature Collection
- Children's Literature in the Special Collections Research Center
- Book Challenge Research Resources
Librarian Contact Information
The Children's Literature Research Guide is intended to assist children's literature researchers, School of Education students and School of Information students by providing access to the University of Michigan Library children's literature resources in one place. It also includes other external resources that you may find helpful.
The Children's Literature Collection was originally designed and is primarily a collection of award winning children's books. A portion of the original collection was donated by the School of Education.
The Children's Literature Research Guide is maintained by Angie Oehrli , Learning Librarian at Shapiro Library. Angie is a former middle school and high school teacher who selects and maintains the items in the Children's Literature Collection which is located on the 3rd Floor (South) of the Hatcher Library. Please contact her if you need help researching any topic relating to children's literature.
Good luck with your research!
children’s literature resource guide
A comprehensive guide for parents, teachers, and kids, introduction.
Through reading literature, kids can explore new worlds, contemplate new ideas, and develop empathy by seeing through the eyes of others. Reading sparks the imagination and helps kids gain cultural knowledge, emotional intelligence, and social development. And because reading is so important, we created this Children’s Literature Resource Guide. Inside you’ll find 40 individual resources for kids, teachers, and parents, including websites that offer texts to read online and literature-themed games; resources for teaching literature to kids; and resources that help guide parents as they work to foster a love of reading in their children.
General Children’s Literature Resources
Whether you’re seeking information on a particular children’s author or you need a link to a site with storytelling videos based on children’s literature, these resources are for you.
Children’s Literature Author/Illustrator Directory
Find links to tons of children’s literature authors and illustrators. The directory’s convenient A to Z format offers easy searching.
Getting Kids Reading
Parents, you’ll want to bookmark this site. Discover plenty of games, books, crafts, and creative ideas to promote a love of reading in children.
We Give Books
Children have the opportunity to give the gift of a new book to a specific nonprofit charity each time they read a Penguin or DK children’s book online via this site.
International Children’s Digital Library
A treasure trove of high-quality digital children’s books from all over the world. The site offers books for children ages three to 13. Access is free is easy. You don’t even have to register to read!
Many of the things you can do during an in-person visit to the library, you can do virtually on Story Place. Favorite stories and activities are presented in mobile and desktop formats.
Shakespeare for Kids
This website provides plenty of activities for children and families. Solve puzzles, answer quizzes, and learn new words based on Shakespeare, his works, and Elizabethan England.
Caldecott Medal and Honor Books
View winners of the Caldecott Medal, which since 1938 has been awarded for distinguished artistry in a children’s picture book by the Association for Library Service to Children.
Coretta Scott King Award and Honor Books
View winners of the Coretta Scott King Award, which since 1970 recognizes outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.
Selection of Award Winners & Honor Recipients:
- New Kid by Jerry Kraft
- Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
- One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
- Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
- Day of Tears by Julius Lester
- Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper
- Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
- The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
- Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
- The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
John Newbery Medal and Honor Books
View winners of the John Newbery Medal, which since 1922 recognizes the year's most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Selection of Medal Winners & Honor Recipients:
- The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
- Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
- Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
- The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz and Hatem Aly
- Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
- Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
- The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
- El Deafo by Cece Bell
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
- Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
- The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
Children’s Literature Games
Learning should be fun. And online games, like the literature-themed ones listed below, can give students a break from traditional learning.
Children can enjoy playing various online word games based on books such as How to Eat Fried Worms and The Black Stallion.
The Los Angeles Public Library offers links to five online literature-based games that are free to access and play.
PBS Reading Games
PBS is a leader in entertaining educational programming for kids with shows like Word Girl , Elmo , and Super Why . Help your child strengthen their reading skills with a variety of reading games based on PBS show characters.
Children will delight in the opportunity to play these literature-based games that feature their favorite characters and storylines.
Student Reading Interactives
Choose from 10 exciting reading games geared for children in grades K-2. Flash Player is required.
Children’s Reading Guides
Readers are developed, not born. Browse the links below to find guides published by organizations interested in promoting early literacy and finding the best instructional practices to achieve it.
The Joy and Power of Reading
From Scholastic comes this summary of research and expert opinion, which emphasizes the importance of providing young children frequent access and exposure to books. Emphasis is placed on offering a variety and choice of materials and reading books aloud to the developing reader.
Literacy Resource Guide for Families and Educators
Developed by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA), this literacy resource guide helps families and educators discover the vast amount of children’s literacy resources available through the US Department of Education.
Put Reading First
This 64-page guide summarizes research by the National Reading Panel based on how to teach children to be successful readers. Suggestions for best instructional practices are made in the areas of phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary.
This guide from Reading Rockets offers parents practical advice and tips on how to raise a child who likes to read.
Children’s Literature Teaching Resources
When you teach children’s literature, you not only help children develop literacy skills, you also foster within them an appreciation of all that literature has to offer. Browse the links below to find ideas, lesson plans, and activities that will engage your students.
Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site
Book reviews for children’s books, curriculum implementation ideas, and professional topics are what you’ll find at this site created by the late Carol Hurst, a well-known lecturer, author, and language arts consultant.
- The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
- Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
- Far North by Will Hobbs
- I Am Regina by Sally Keehn
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
- Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
- From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
- Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Teach with Picture Books
Teach with Picture Books is a helpful resource to learn about ideas, activities, and games that you can use with picture books to enhance instruction in grades three to eight.
Popular Picture Books:
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- The Giving Tree by Shel Siverstein
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Teaching Kids News
Enjoy free, kid-friendly news stories that are perfect to use with students in grades two to eight. The authors provide the appropriate vocabulary and context for every news story they write and include critical thinking questions.
Aaron Shepard’s RT Page
Improve the reading fluency of your students in a fun way. Children’s author Aaron Shepard offers free access to an acclaimed series of Reader’s Theater scripts that you can use in your classroom. He also offers tips for making the most of Reader’s Theater with your students.
Find links to engaging lesson plans, whimsical printables, and fun-filled activities related to various Dr. Seuss books.
Read Kiddo, Read
In the “Lesson Plans for Educators” portion of this site, find over 70 links to lesson plans and discussion questions for various children’s books, such as James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel.
This site is an online video library that features Screen Actors Guild (SAG) members, such as Kevin Costner and Christian Slater, reading children’s books aloud. Lesson plans and activity guides are available to download for each book.
No Water River
Find poetry performance tips, lists of children’s poetic terms and forms, and a poetry video library with more than 100 videos of poem presentations and interviews with poets.
The Best Children’s Books
Self-sacrifice, service, and helping others are traits that all children should have the opportunity to learn. Check out this link for examples of children’s books that offer examples of service within their stories. Also included for each book are grade-level recommendations, summaries, and a peek inside.
Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Keep updated about the newest and best books published for children via the booklists and webcasts on this site.
From Annenberg Learner, these literature interactives can help your students learn the elements of a story. Literature interactives are also available for teachers, such as how to assess comprehension or annotate text.
Learning School Radio
This collection of audio resources from the BBC will stimulate children’s imaginations and inspire them to love reading.
Children’s Literature Study Resources
In this section, find links to recorded lectures from actual college-level courses based on children’s literature, study guides, book notes, and video lessons to help you learn more about this topic.
Utilize a study guide that explains three reading methods for promoting fluency and comprehension. Methods include Reader’s Theater, performing poetry, and choral reading.
Literature Lessons on Video
These video examples of excellent literature teaching practices for grades six to eight can help educators improve their teaching methods.
Free Book Notes
This is like one-stop shopping for all your study material needs. Find free book notes, study guides, book and chapter summaries, and more from this literature study guide search engine that has links to materials from more than 23 online providers.
History of Children’s Literature
These 29 audio lectures, from David Beagley of La Trobe University, focus on the development of children’s literature, from myths and legends to modern stories.
Postcolonial Literature for Children
This podcast from David Beagley of La Trobe University, focuses on the major themes and strategies employed by children’s authors to represent postcolonial stories.
Children’s Literature Blogs
For the best in children’s book reviews and poetry to helpful tips and tricks to inspire a love of reading in children, take some time to browse the following blogs.
The Well-Read Child
This mom’s mission is all about getting kids to read. She features reading tips, learning activities, fiction and nonfiction book reviews, and recommendations to help other parents instill a desire to read in their children. Her book reviews are based on books for children, tweens, and teens.
This blog is devoted to the review of children’s board books, otherwise known as tough little books full of brilliant colors, cute illustrations, and tiny words. Discover information about delightful, almost indestructible books that your toddler will love.
Jen Robinson’s Book Page
Jen Robinson may have a PhD in Industrial Engineering, but she has always loved children’s books and sharing that love with others. Her blog features tons of insightful book reviews for children’s books and thoughtful posts that can inspire people to place a high value on encouraging children to read.
What to Read to Your Kids
This blog created by Melissa LaSalle, the “Book Mommy,” contains her annotated list of highly recommended children’s books.
Poetry for Children
This blog was created and is maintained by Sylvia Vardell, author and professor at Texas Women’s University. It focuses on finding and sharing poetry with young people.
Modern Classics: Children’s Literature and Chapter Books
- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- The Wonderful Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
- Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
- Literature & Fiction
- History & Criticism
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Children's Literature Studies: A Research Handbook Paperback – May 24, 2011
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Children's literature is a rapidly expanding field of research which presents students and researchers with a number of practical and intellectual challenges. This research handbook is the first devoted to the specialist skills and complexities of studying children's literature at university level. Bringing together the expertise of leading international scholars, it combines practical advice with in-depth discussion of critical approaches. Wide- ranging in approach, Children's Literature Studies: A Research Handbook : - Considers 'children's literature' in its fullest sense, examining visual texts (such as picturebooks), films, computer games and other 'transformed' texts, as well as more traditional modes of writing for children - Offers a step-by-step guide to devising, starting and carrying out a research project (such as a dissertation or thesis), and advice on what kinds of research it is possible and profitable to undertake - Surveys the different methodologies and theoretical approaches used by children's literature scholars - Includes case studies, questions and exercises to reinforce ideas discussed in each chapter - Provides lists of further reading and a specialist glossary that will remain a useful reference resource This handbook will be an essential companion for those studying children's literature, whether as undergraduates, postgraduates, or beyond.
- Print length 272 pages
- Language English
- Publisher Red Globe Press
- Publication date May 24, 2011
- Dimensions 5.5 x 0.52 x 8.5 inches
- ISBN-10 0230525547
- ISBN-13 978-0230525542
- See all details
From the back cover, about the author.
KIMBERLEY REYNOLDS Professor of Children's Literature in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University, UK. She was President of the International Research Society for Children's Literature (2003 – 2007). Recent publications include Radical Children's Literature: Future Visions and Aesthetic Transformations which received the Children's Literature Association Award in 2009 and Modern Children's Literature: An Introduction. M. O. GRENBY Reader in Children's Literature in the School of English at Newcastle University, UK. He is the author of several books on children's literature and eighteenth-century culture, including The Child Reader 1700-1840 and The Anti-Jacobin Novel, and is the co-editor of Popular Children's Literature in Britain and The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature. KIMBERLEY REYNOLDS Professor of Children's Literature in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University, UK. She was President of the International Research Society for Children's Literature (2003 – 2007). Recent publications include Radical Children's Literature: Future Visions and Aesthetic Transformations which received the Children's Literature Association Award in 2009 and Modern Children's Literature: An Introduction. M. O. GRENBY Reader in Children's Literature in the School of English at Newcastle University, UK. He is the author of several books on children's literature and eighteenth-century culture, including The Child Reader 1700-1840 and The Anti-Jacobin Novel, and is the co-editor of Popular Children's Literature in Britain and The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature.
- Publisher : Red Globe Press; 2011th edition (May 24, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0230525547
- ISBN-13 : 978-0230525542
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.52 x 8.5 inches
- #1,396 in Children's Literary Criticism (Books)
- #186,384 in Teen & Young Adult Books
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Leonie Dian Puspita
deborah cogan thacker
Mateusz Świetlicki , Centrum Badań
Literature for children offers an ongoing challenge for creators, publishers, readers (of whatever age), educators, and researchers. Its functioning is inseparably connected with the historically changing system of social expectations towards children and childhood. The instability of these postulates and concepts remains a source of numerous controversies. It is these polemics and inconsistencies that we wish to make the subject of our conference. Controversy seems to be the essence of literature for children, as reflected in its perception, for example, as a projection of the fantasies, fears, and desires of adults (Rose 1984), a form of child oppression and colonization of childhood (Nodelman 1992), an element of the aetonormative world ruled by adults (Nikolajeva 2010), or as a part of the pedagogical project of childhood that attempts to control the future (Beauvais 2015). Simultaneously, the importance of children's literature as a bridge between childhood and adulthood (Waller 2019, Wróblewski 2019) or as a platform for the development of symmetrical relations between child and adult (e.g. Gubar 2016, Joosen 2018, Chawar et al. 2018) is being increasingly emphasized. These and other postulates remain open and worthy of further reflection. The research on children's literature itself also invites reflective interest: what are its premises, goals, and expectations? This conference aims to encourage joint identification and analysis of controversial decisions, practices, and attitudes concerning the cultural, social, and political significance of children's literature, its place in the public, publishing, and academic spaces, as well as its involvement in the exploration of and dealing with contemporary problems. With what challenges of the modern world does it confront children and adults? We invite you to submit papers on controversial issues related to children's literature in terms of creativity, reception, publishing, and research: THE CREATIVE DIMENSION-controversial authors of children's literature;-controversial topics as a reflection of historically changing social norms and concepts of children's literature;-cross-over literature and the aestheticization of children's literature;-children's literature authored by children (also in the context of new media);-controversial choices and attitudes of translators of children's literature;-the phenomenon of polemical translation and children's literature;
2009, Canadian Children S Literature Litterature Canadienne Pour La Jeunesse
1987, Poetics Today
Literature does not necessarily mean education. Literature is, above all, a cultural and artistic product made for readers to enjoy. Consequently, children’s literature should also be considered a cultural and artistic product that can appeal to young readers. However, as the title of this chapter suggests, is it also possible to use literature as an educational tool? The aim of this paper is to discuss the relationship between children’s literature and education and how both disciplines can be linked through the development of literary competence at a young age.
2017, The History of British Women's Writing, 1945-1975, ed. Clare Hanson and Susan Watkins
A survey of British women's writing for children in the thirty years after the Second World War. Philippa Pearce, Rosemary Sutcliff, Joan Aiken, Enid Blyton, among others, are discussed, as are the conditions and conventions of children's publishing in this period.
How fun!” That’s the reaction when I tell people I study children’s literature. And they are so right. Children’s lit research is fascinating and yes, lots of fun. Often they follow this comment with reminiscences about a beloved childhood book and perhaps (cringe) a remark about how “cute” it was. For many adults, children’s literature is comfort food, wrapped in nostalgia, recalling blissful times lost in a book with a happy ending. I confess to some nostalgia of my own, along with a few fantasies about fairy godmothers and that teaser “happily ever after.” I came to the study of children’s literature as any ex-English major would, through appreciation of the beauty and economy of its written word. I marveled at how authors managed to convey so much in so few words, often putting them into the mouths of their quite inarticulate child characters. I’m still wowed by that, but now it is the ideological content of this literature that interests me more. Nostalgia can obscure the impac...
Eyes Wide Shut
1983, Children's Literature Association Quarterly
Despite the fact that “the representation of gendered bodies and behaviours” within children’s literature is an issue that is “highly significant” and “frequently addressed, […] the application of gender studies to children’s texts […] is still very much a work in progress” (Flanagan 2010). In this article, my main aims are, firstly, to argue the importance of children’s literature as literature, and secondly, to show why gender does matter within children’s literature and its criticism, even within those books not tackling the issue at first glance. The article2 is divided into three sections : Dilemmas in Children’s Literature : Performativity Matters, in which I introduce the perspective on children’s literature I endorse - the framework I propose to understand children’s literature is performative ; Gender Dilemmas, in which I claim that gender is a fundamental category to understand children’s literature and what it does ; Subversions, Agency Attributions, Desires : Non-normative Representations, in which I individuate three different narrative strategies children’s books may employ in order to question gender norms. Children’s literature representations of non-normative behaviours, desires, and agencies make non-normative existences conceivable, and, as such, real.
2007, CRITICAL LITERACY: Theories and …
2014, Journal of Children’s Literature
This article shares highlights from the CLA Master Class of 2013 chaired by Janelle B. Mathis, University of North Texas. Descriptions of varied children's and adolescent literature classes with significant strategies are provided.IN 2011, A MASTER CLASS in Childrens Literature: Trends and Issues in an Evolving Field (Bedford & Albright, 2011) was published, and it highlighted the central goals of the Master Class in Teaching Children's Literature (a session held each year at NCTE)-"learning from our colleagues, the experts in our field, about how to include cutting-edge topics in our children's literature courses" (Bedford, 2011, p. xiv). Edited by April Bedford and Lettie Albright with contributions by CLA members who have organized this session in past years, this resource reflects the vast array of topics covered over the years by Master Class and addresses how they fit into contemporary contexts. The topics include relationships between children's lite...
2019, UQ MPhil thesis
The creative project for my Master of Philosophy Creative Writing was conceived as a time-slip fantasy for 8 to 12-year-old readers with the working title Time Squad. It tells the story of an 11-year-old girl, Tiggy, who moves to Brisbane after her mother inherits the family’s overgrown ‘ancestral home’. Tiggy and her new neighbour Hamish discover the ghost of the original owner, Sir Harry Barnard, has set them a quest. In fulfilling the quest they solve a series of century-old puzzles and challenges and finally reveal the full magic of the old house. The book is designed as the first in a light-hearted optimistic holiday adventure series written for emerging readers and pursuing themes of the environment, Australian identity, what it means to be an Australian girl, our history – both personal and national – and the ghosts who speak to us from it. However, I found issues such as divorce, family conflicts and financial difficulties emerging as I wrote, pushing my optimistic adventure novel into domestic issues-based territory. At some level, I seemed to believe that writing well for contemporary children needed to involve serious life issues. This led me to ask two questions in my critical paper ‘Putting the Child back into Children’s Literature’. What qualifies as excellent children’s literature for younger readers today? And, are younger readers well served by that standard? This exegesis uses the work of developmental psychologist Jean Piaget and Gough and Tunmer (The Simple View of Reading) to create an understanding of younger readers’ systems of thought, modes of cognition, decoding skills and life experience. Applying this developmental framework to five years of winning books from the peak children’s literature awards of the Newbery Medal (USA), Carnegie Medal (UK) and Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year, the analysis concludes that eight out of 15 awardwinning novels did not meet younger readers on their development curve. This was predominantly caused by a traumatic reality which set too high a listening comprehension (LC) factor for Gough and Tunmer, and in Piaget’s terms, required a higher stage of development than the concrete operational younger reader. A trend toward prizing issues-based literature has developed which may explain the initial pressure I felt as a writer to move away from my creative vision for Time Squad. Recognising that the movement toward prizing realist, trauma-based texts may not serve younger readers allowed me to justify alternate solid ground for excellence in positioning the themes, characters, settings, language and plot in Time Squad closer to my original creative vision, better meeting 8 to 12-year-olds on their development curve. An optimistic outdoor holiday adventure, functional families, simple language and a happy ending are still worthwhile for contemporary younger readers.
2013, Children's Literature
Gender has always been considered as a basal issue in the field of Children's Literature. Since children are receptive to the values and impressed by the ideas expounded in what they read, literary texts addressed to children are not just simply for entertainment; they also reflect positively all of society, especially the marginalized. Children's Literature should inspire and enthuse its audience, while it could be a means of escape, a sanctuary from repression, and a "secret garden" within which children can identify with and rejoice in themselves. In order to illustrate how gender is used both negatively and detrimentally to the perception of the self, and then to examine whether the "sacrifice" of the story for socially correct writing is acceptable or desirable, we will examine in this paper indicatively, but representatively, the presentation of gender in various texts for children, from fairy tales and nursery rhymes to classic or modern novels and adolescents' fictions. Finally, as this brief study shows, though Children's Literature cannot on its own subvert ideology, gender definitions, or gender stereotypes, it could shape a new basis for thinking about individuality and humanity, by challenging children to question and to cogitate.
Children's literature is defined as literature exclusively about children. Children's literature refers mainly to stories, poetry, rhymes, folk tales, drama, exclusively created for children such as infants, toddlers and the young people as target audience. Literature for children is different from literature for adults in degree but not in kind. Because children’s understanding is more limited, the expression of ideas for children in literature must be simpler, both in language and form. Abstrak Sastra anak adalah bentuk karya sastra yang khusus diciptakan untuk konsumsi anak-anak.Bentuk-bentuknya antara lain berupa cerita, puisi, cerita rakyat dan drama yang secara khusus diciptakan untuk anak-anak, balita dan remaja sebagai target audiencenya.Bentuk sastra anak pada dasarnya sama saja dengan sastra dewasa, hanya saja keduanya berbeda dari segi tingkatan dan muatannya.Hal ini disebabkan karena tingkat pemikiran anak-anak masih terbatas dibandingkan or...
The article discusses children’s literature as a matter that can become highly politicized. While often viewed as apolitical, stories for children have always been subjected to hegemonic ideologies and mediated dominant norms. The analysis focuses on gender dimension of this normativity and shows that the attempts to create gender subversive stories for children have to face not only the conservative backlash but they also have to deal with wider cultural context and contemporary meanings of childhood. The last section of the article shows that no matter how gender balanced or stereotypical a story is, the interpretation lies with children themselves. Thus, researchers analyzing messages in children’s stories always have to take into account young readers and their diverse ways of understanding.
Since the end of the seventeenth century in England, literary criticism of Children’s Literature has followed a ‘natural’ cycle of birth, growth, and development that is almost parallel to the birth and development of Children’s Literature which, mainly springing from oral storytelling, became written and spread through seventeenth-century Europe thanks to the works of Gianbattista Basile and Charles Perrault. This field is vast, and thus this article cannot be exhaustive but rather will attempt to retrace a brief history of criticism, in the English language, by examining several books and articles on the subject, published since 1990 but that also refer as far back as 1700, and available at the University of Cambridge Library. Like women’s writing, Literature for Children at its best is an Art whose ultimate goal is to change history by doing justice, and the role of the critic is to spread light on how that is done in a poetic as well as subversive way.
This chapter appears in the Routledge Companion to Children's Literature, edited by David Rudd (2010).
Being a Child in a Global World
This chapter will focus on the development of children's literature in the western world. The topic will be discussed with reference to the historical development of children's literature, previous sample works and the concepts of childhood, which have been changing day by day. As it is known, the first literary texts presented to children are verbal. With the spread of the printing press, written literature and changing social perceptions led to the emergence of a separate literary idea for children. Tales, myths, legends, nursery rhymes, and children's songs, as well as the alphabet books and the texts in holy books, which are among the first oral products, are considered the first texts that children encounter. However, the spread of the idea of humanism enables the questioning of the position of the child in society. In this way, works that are suitable for the world of imagination have started to be produced, considering the interests, needs and perceptual differences of children. The Aesopian fables in the 17th century, the Works by J.J. Rousseau in the 18th century for children and his liberal perspective, Robinson Crusoe by D. Defoe and Gulliver's Travels by J. Swift are among the basic works of children's literature. The perception of children and childhood that changes in every century is reflected in literary works.
This is an abridged and updated version of a talk I gave to the Society of Authors in London in November 2013. An even more abridged version will appear in the Winter 2014 issue of The Author.
This is one of a series of eight Teacher Education Modules developed by Adams State College Teacher Corps Program. The dual purpose of these modules is stated as follows: trying to understand children and their needs and becoming familiar with and developing criteria for evaluating children's literature. The objectives of the modules, which are listed, stress acquisition of definitions, background, standards, techniques, understanding pf children's needs, and overall selection ability as related to children's literature. Specific assignments, such as the accumulation of cards for each book covered in this course, are outlined. The module is then divided into eight units; each unit includes a brief introduction identifying the subject and general procedure, a list of general readings, and a list of references. The eight units are as follows: Understanding Children and Their
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
2020, International Research in Children's Literature
In discussions surrounding subalternity, theorists have predominantly focussed upon the notion of difference based upon binary models of gender, race, colonialism or a North/South divide. However, until recently, little attention has been paid to children as a subject of critical attention, in spite of the fact that they are unquestionably subordinate in terms of social, political and economic power, and ‘[p]ower is related to representation: which representations have cognitive authority or can secure hegemony, which do not have authority or are not hegemonic’ (Beverley, 1999, p. 1). Although clearly there are many representations of children as characters within literature, there are very few attempts to give the child a ‘voice’, and there are two main reasons for this void. The first is that ‘the very ideologies that shape our perceptions of [children] pre-determine that we view them as not having agency or consequence in ideology – they are helpless, they are innocent, they are too ignorant to represent themselves. (Honeyman, 2005, p. ii). The second is a problem that is yet to find a resolution within subaltern studies; how does an author (who is inevitably part of the so-called intellectual elite) effectively represent a subordinated subject. This article will explore strategies that have been used to overcome the difficulties of representing children in literature, and how this group fits into the theoretical framework of subaltern studies.
Irena Barbara Kalla
Jean A Webb
Patricia Enciso , Karen Coats , Christine Jenkins
2010, Reading Research Quarterly
Professional book review: Encountering Children’s Literature: An Arts Approach (Jane M. Gangi); Negotiating Critical Literacies with Young Children (Vivian Vasquez); The Power of Reading: Insights from Research (2nd ed.) (Stephen Krashen)
Students new to the study of children’s literature often struggle to disassociate their scholarly selves from nostalgic memories of reading as a child. A perennial problem in seminars is the tendency for discussion to turn into simple reminiscences about past pleasures and displeasures. Although it is necessary to alert students to the dangers of sentimental responses to children’s texts, there are also valuable ways that these remembered reactions can inform their critical explorations.
2014, Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 37.1 (Spring 2012): 112-116.
2010, Reference Reviews
Children literature remains the focus of discussions among those concerned with the positive socialisation of children within the African society. However, how it can serve for the socialisation of children by the home has not been clearly understood. This paper discusses the tangible role children literature can play in the socialisation process. It specifically focuses on the way the absentee parent(s) can effectively use children literature as a tool of child training. It outlined the nature of children literature as it exists in the Nigerian society. It identified some important techniques such as didactism, journey motif, child abuse, characterisation, etc. which writers use to convey their messages in Nigerian children literature. It identified how writers use aesthetics to attract, keep and teach children the needed morality in the society. It concludes by outlining the way that the teacher/parent can effectively bring to life children literature to youngsters and thus engage it for positive socialisation of children within the African social milieu.
Victoria de Rijke
2022, Routledge eBooks
2011, Kümmerling-Meibauer, Bettina (ed.): Emergent Literacy. Children’s books from 0 to 3. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 1-14.
José Angel García Landa
"Children's Literature as Communication: The ChiLPA Project" is a volume of essays edited by Roger Sell (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2002). The acronym ChiLPA stands for ‘Children’s Literature, Pure and Applied’, a research and doctoral training programme at Åbo Akademi. The high points in the book are Roger Sell’s introduction and his chapter ‘Reader-learners: Children’s Novels and Participatory Pedagogy’, together with Maria Nikolajeva’s ch. 6. There are other notable contributions by Niklas Bengtsson and Rosemary Ross Johnston. The volume is divided into three parts: ‘Initiating’ and ‘Negotiating’ are more theoretical/critical, while ‘Responding: Pragmatic variables’ is more directly concerned with pedagogical research projects and curricular design.
Sara Van den Bossche
2019, Children's Literature Association Quarterly
Dávid Sándor Szőke
2020, EKE Líceum Kiadó
2022, International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews
Children's literature is a term generally used to cover all literature for children and adolescents, including oral literature such as fairy tales, graphic narratives, and young literature. Children's Literature can be meaningful and compelling to us. One of the reasons we read these stories to our children is to prepare their minds to receive the truth. It is important that these stories have the moral truths of goodness. And the moral imagination is not just being formed in hildren; it's being formed in all of us. CS Lewis and many other great writers argue that good children's literature is also really good for adults. Adults not only should remember their childhood, but they should also keep it. Children are naturally wondrous. Things they see are new. Things we see are new too, we just don't see them as better as children can. Children's Literature can help you recover your childhood.
This book is about children’s literature – but that term is far from simple: children’s literature is (among many other things) a body of texts (in the widest senses of that word), an academic discipline, an educational and social tool, an international business and a cultural phenomenon.
2015, The Lion and the Unicorn
More on Children's Literature
Introduction see all, characteristics see all, timeline see all, top authors see all, texts see all.
- For Teachers
Children's Literature Introduction
Picture a world where animals talk, children fly, evil wizards try to destroy the world, and princes and princesses live happily ever.
That's the world of fantasy…and it's also the world of children's literature.
The emphasis on the magical and the fantastic in children's literature mirrors the imaginations of children. After all, we weren't always clued into the fact that dragons don't exist. Once upon a time we believed in monsters, witches, and a few specific holiday-related figures who shall not be named in case a young child somehow stumbles upon this page.
Why should we study children's literature? To put it one way, it's the gateway drug of literature. We wouldn't be the awesome book-devouring Shmoopers we are if it weren't for the children's literature we read as tiny-tots. Those books introduced us to literature, and apparently, they did it well.
Children's books not only help kids learn to read; they also teach 'em a whole lot about themselves and the world around them. We're talking right and wrong, generosity, kindness, emotions of all kind…and just how stuff works.
And of course, these books have plenty to say to adults, too. What if we told you that lots of Dr. Seuss books were about war and communism? Or that Maurice Sendak's recall the terrors of the Holocaust?
Anyone who says children's literature is just for children should be eaten by a dragon.
P.S. We're calling children's literature a movement; but really, it's more of a genre. And just like any other genre, it's gone through its own trends and taboos, its own revolutions and transformations. From the very first books aimed at children, which were pioneering in their own right, to the current postmodern bent that challenges children and adults alike to reflect on narrative, children's literature has tons to offer—and we hope you'll drink it all in.
What is Children's Literature About and Why Should I Care?
We're going to assume you love reading. If you don't, you've found the wrong number.
The fact of the matter is, children's literature is our first introduction to reading. If we hadn't been hooked by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Dr. Seuss as kids, we may not have ended up being such big literature buffs.
So even though we may have outgrown children's literature in favor of Toni Morrison or Don DeLillo, we can't underestimate how important children's books were to our own development as readers. All the wonders of Shakespeare would have been inaccessible to us if we hadn't first gone through those books about Hungry Caterpillars and Wild Things.
If you want to understand the roots of your own identity as a literary-head, children's literature is the place to be.
Children's Literature Resources
Library of Congress Digitized Children's Literature Delve into this website for a treasure trove of rare children's books. All available online.
Norton Anthology of Children's Literature Timeline A comprehensive timeline of children's literature, beginning way back in the 8th century BCE. Yowza.
Children's Literature Introduction Study Group
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