How Literature Affects a Child's Development

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Over an elapsed period of decades, books and other forms of literature have become the center for a wide variety of people, ranging from a very young age to that of an older audience. However what should be understood is not just the factor of age, but how these stories have acted as a pivotal point for a child’s development. Research shows that children’s literature provides many cognitive skills from the start of infancy, especially with the ability to stimulate the imagination of children everywhere. As Julius Lester (2000) perfectly puts it,

“… literature is the royal road that enables us to enter the realm of the imaginative. Literature enables us to experience what it is like to be someone else. Through literature, we experience other modes of being. Through literature, we recognize who we are and what we might become.”

Focused within this compact idea of children's literature are the four values. These include the social, emotional, physical, and academic values instilled within children’s literature. It is important to touch upon all of the values because it helps provide a better understanding as to how literature guides children with the most important learning tools for further development. Examples include learning about people and places from other parts of the world, improving their understanding of and concern for all of humanity, and through stories they can venture out into new experiences and ideas without any negative repercussions in their real lives. Through these stories what we learn or eventually will come across on are the morals and values, and how we can it apply to the real world.

Children at a very young age have tendencies to want to repeatedly hear the same stories, and while this natural tendency is seen as a physical value that benefits in language development, we see that there is a deeper association when it comes to how children reveal the world. We start off with the comparisons between literature of adults and...
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