Five Milestones in Children’s Literature

Topics: Children's literature, Orbis Pictus, John Amos Comenius Pages: 3 (927 words) Published: March 13, 2011
Five Milestones in Children’s Literature

Five Milestones in Children’s Literature
Imagine a world with no books. Imagine gathered around a camp fire listening to stories of hero’s, witches, dragon slayers, ghost, and even biblical blood baths. Well, this is how children were first told stories not from pages in a book but from images and memories of ones mind. Stories were told to children and adults alike. The art of storytelling slowly progress over the years from story telling orally to finally making it’s way to the paper, till eventually there were books made especially for children. The history of children’s literature is filled with many milestones. These milestones show how children’s literature grew to what it is today. The very first milestone of children’s literature began in the beginning. Not just children’s literature but all literature began with storytelling. At first story telling was a way to entertain each other, then it unfolded into lessons for the young instructing them on how to live At this time children and adult literature were one in the same. Children were told the same stories as adults. Around the time of the first century CE children were told stories of heroes such as: Aeneid, and Metamorphoses. These stories have remained strong and are still apart of our culture today. “Our culture is filled with references to these Classical stories—we speak of Achilles’ heels, Herculean tasks, the Midas touch, Pandora’s box, and sour grapes” (Russell, 2009). The Second milestone of children’s literature developed during the middle ages. During this time the Roman Catholic Church dominated society. At this time books were very rare due to the fact that they were very expensive. Religious tales were dominating literature. Saints and the way they lived their lives were used as stories for examples on how the youth should live. There were also non-religious tales that became quite popular as well such as: Beowulf, and King Author and the...

References: Russell, D.L. (2009). Literature for children: a short introduction (6th ed.). Boston, MA:
Pearson.
Leary, B.E. (1970). Lirary of University of Iowa. University of Iowa. Retrieved from
http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/bai/leary.htm
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