INTRODUCTION TO CHILDREN'S
Compiled by Sylvia Baer
Material adapted and reproduced from Instructor's Resource Manual to Accompany "Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children's Literature," 4th through 7th eds., by Donna E. Norton and Saundra E. Norton (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill/Prentice Hall, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007). Used with permission.
© 2007 by Thomas Edison State College
_______________________________________________________________________________ Introduction v
1 Response to Literature 1
Lesson 1: The Child Responds to Literature 3
2 History and Evaluation 13
Lesson 2: The History of Children's Literature 15
Lesson 3: Evaluating and Selecting Literature for Children 24 3 Realm of the Artist 33
Lesson 4: Artists and Their Illustrations 35
Lesson 5: Picture Books 44
4 Literary Forms 53
Lesson 6: Traditional Literature 55
Lesson 7: Modern Fantasy 64
Lesson 8: Poetry 73
5 Realistic and Historical Fiction 83
Lesson 9: Contemporary Realistic Fiction 85
Lesson 10: Historical Fiction 94
6 Nonfiction 103
Lesson 11: Biographies 105
Lesson 12: Informational Books 114
Appendix: Answer Key to Multiple-Choice Study Questions 123
What was your favorite childhood storybook? What was your favorite fairy tale? Surely you remember fondly at least one story, and most likely two or three.
A friend of mine in his fifties can still tell the tale, almost word for word, of The Little Engine That Could. Another friend, in her thirties, loved every single word and picture in her Cinderella book. My first friend heads a major corporation, but his childhood was filled with desertion and poverty. He credits reading that childhood book every night while waiting for his mother—a waitress and single parent—to get home in the evening with inspiring him to get ahead in the business world. My other friend is now a New York designer who specializes in evening wear and whose name you'll see in fashion magazines. She insists that the image of Cinderella guides all of her designs.
That childhood influences greatly affect who we become as adults is no surprise to psychologists, sociologists, educators, and the rest of us. If that is true, then imagine the importance of what children read! Often our first view of the world outside our nest comes in the form of books. We learn how to act in the world, what is right, what is wrong, what will be praised, what will be punished, what is expected from others, and what we can expect from others— all from books.
Is it any wonder, then, that the study of children's literature is of great vi
importance? Do you know what makes a children's book good? Do you know how to choose a good book from among the myriad choices in libraries and bookstores today? Do you know what books are appropriate at what age levels? Do you know what books contain controversial themes, what those themes are, and how you feel about them?
Introduction to Children's Literature is intended to help you answer those questions. More specifically, what I hope will happen is that you'll learn how to evaluate books, how to explore ideas, and how to determine readability. Most important, however, I hope you will appreciate and enjoy these wonderful pieces of literature. If there are youngsters in your life, I hope you will share this exploration together.
All exploration of literature is ultimately a voyage of discovery of ourselves. Words and illustrations transport us, like sturdy ships, into the sea of our souls. There we are tossed and rocked onto the shores of understanding—always changing, always fascinating. I wish you interesting travel.
A NOTE ABOUT THE COURSE
This Study Guide is intended for use with the three-credit, Thomas Edison State College course Introduction to Children's Literature (LIT-221-GS). The syllabus for that course is published separately as part of the Course...