Children’s literature

1. Introduction

Definitions, themes, changes, attitudes

  Acts of definition

  Common themes and blurred genres

  Distinctive changes

  Academic attitudes

2. Internationalism, the universal child and the world of children’s literature

  Universal childhood: a Romantic model

  Universal children’s literature: semiotic models

  International understanding through children’s books

  The ideology of internationalism

  How international is international children’s literature?

  ’World literature’ - international classics

  The international market

PART I. Theory and critical approaches

3. Theorising and theories

The conditions of possibility of children’s literature

  Competing critical histories and the status of the child

  The doubleness of discourse: constructed/constructive

  Origins and the genealogy of children’s literature


  Conditions of possibility


4. Criticism and the critical mainstream

5. Critical tradition and ideological positioning



  Moral purpose and didacticism

  Representation: gender, minority groups and bias: the debate from the 1970s until the present day

  The development of criticism of children’s fiction: the Leavisite paradigm

  The ideological debate in literary studies

  The construction of the reader

  Implied readers and real readers

  Ideology and children’s fiction

6. History and culture

7. Linguistics and stylistics

8. Reader-response criticism

  A shift of critical perspective

  Young readers and their books

9. Psychoanalytical criticism

  Freudian criticism

  Jungian criticism

  Ego psychology and object relations theories

  Jacques Lacan: the return to Freud through language

  Psychoanalytic theory and the feminist critique


10. Feminism revisited




11. Picture books and illustration

12. Narrative theory and children’s literature

  Plot-oriented and character-oriented narratives


  Characterisation as a narrative issue

  Narrative perspective


13. Intertextuality and the child reader

14. Comparative children’s literature

  Development of comparative children’s literature

  Areas of comparative children’s literature studies

  Contact and transfer studies: Alice in Germany

15. Bibliography

PART II. Forms and genres

16. Ancient and medieval children’s texts




  The Greeks



  The medieval period

17. Texts in English used by children, 1550-1800

  Origins: from Caxton to Puritanism

  Publishing for children: the early eighteenth century

  John Newbery: 1744-67

  Educational theorists and children’s books

  Fun and frivolity

18. Myth and legend

19. Fairy tales and folk tales

  Tal es about fairies, and fairy tales




  The USA

  Italy, Spain, Portugal


  Folk tales

20. Playground rhymes and the oral tradition

21. Children’s rhymes and folklore

  Contemporary and comparative approaches

  Children’s folklore today

  The classification of children’s folklore

  Recent trends in the study of children’s folklore

  The contribution of technology

  The people in the playground

  Rude rhymes and folklore

  The comparative study of children’s rhymes and folklore

  Do children’s rhymes reveal universal metrical patterns?

  Future directions in the study of children’s folklore

22. Catechistical, devotional and biblical writing

  Catechisms and Bibles before 1900

  Devotional literature before 1900

23. Contemporary religious writing

  Theist religiosity in children’s literature

  Hidden religiosity


24. The development of illustrated texts and picture books

25. The picture book

  Modern and postmodern

  Defining picture books

  1900-39: the emergence of the picture book

  1940-50: war and the immediate post-war period

  1960-79: a period of change - the modern picture book emerges

  The origins of the postmodern picture book

  The characteristics of contemporary postmodern picture books

26. Shaping boyhood

British Empire builders and adventurers

  Origins of the adventure story

  The genre

  New developments - the twentieth century

27. Childhood, didacticism and the gendering of British children’s literature

28. Popular literature

Comics, dime novels, pulps and Penny Dreadfuls

  British children’s comics: 150 years of fun and thrills

  American comics and comic books

  Dime novels, pulps and Penny Dreadfuls

29. Contemporary comics

30. Poetry

  ‘Country rhimes’ and ‘fingle-fangles’: what is poetry for children?

  The history of children’s poetry

  Out of the garden into the street: contemporary poetry

  Poetry and illustration

  Poetry for children internationally


31. Animal stories

  The uses of animals in fiction for adults and children

  Distance and ‘identification’



  Simon Flynn

  The eighteenth century

  The nineteenth century

  The twentieth century



  Natural history

  Clothed and unclothed


32. High fantasy

33. Domestic fantasy

  Real gardens with imaginary toads

34. The family story

35. School stories

36. Pony books

37. Historical fiction

38. War

39. Horror

  The horrors of the market

  How to analyse horror

  The final horror

40. Science fiction

41. Series fiction

  Towards a taxonomy

  Resistance to taxonomies

  Critical approaches


42. Teenage fiction

  Realism, romances, contemporary problem novels

43. Crossover literature

44. Writers for adults, writers for children

45. Metafictions and experimental work

  Metafiction and readers

  Defining metafiction

  Postmodernism, metafiction and experimental picture books

  Metafictive and experimental narrative techniques


46. Drama

47. Story-telling

  Co-existing traditions

  The variety of story

  The decline of oral tradition

  The renewal of story-telling

  The art of story-telling

  Preparing to tell

48. Children’s information texts


  Kinds and purposes

  Pedagogical aspects

  Publishers’ perspectives

  The critical context