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Childrens Lit Intro

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Childrens Lit Intro

  1. 1. Children’s Literature Presented by Prof. T. Méndez ENGL 3440 Children’s Literature in English
  2. 2. Children’s Literature Defined • Definitions vary from culture to culture, from critic to critic, and from reader to reader. • The imaginative shaping of life thought into the forms and structures of language (Huck’s 2007). • Children’s literature may be considered an aesthetic experience; a reconstruction of past experience, an extension of experience, or the creation of a new experience.
  3. 3. What is Children’s Literature? • Before the nineteenth century very few books were geared toward a children’s audience. • Children read books for adults, taking what they could understand from them. • Today, children continue to read adult books but the reverse is not unheard of.
  4. 4. What is Children’s Literature? • Books about children may not necessarily be for them. • Just because a book has a child protagonist does not mean it is intended for children. • Children’s literature has changed throughout the years in accordance to continuing changes in society.
  5. 5. Characteristics of Children’s Literature • Children’s literature is often less frank than adult literature. • Contemporary children’s literature reflect the problems of today. (Such as the ones they read about in newspapers, see on television or live at home). • The content is usually simplistic and straightforward without certain emotional and psychological responses. • It is about childhood.
  6. 6. Characteristics of Children’s Literature • It reflects the emotions and experiences of children today. • It will express a child's point of view • It is optimistic.  Hope is a vital dimension of a children’s book. • It will often contain illustrations, especially in younger children’s books.
  7. 7. Characteristics of Children’s Literature • It tends to be repetitious. • Does not contain adult themes and is “child appropriate”  This can be problematic at times. There is a difference in opinion on “what is appropriate for children. • Children’s books often focus on action  Subtle psychological events are often implied through narration and comment on actions.
  8. 8. Characteristics of Children’s Literature • Children’s literature tends toward fantasy. • Is didactic: • Educational • Will have happy endings, but not necessarily the norm.