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This groundbreaking text offers a fresh perspective on how to implement children's literature into and across the curriculum in ways that are both effective and purposeful. Honed over years of experience and reflection in classroom settings and rich with real examples of teachers implementing critical pedagogy, it invites multiple ways of engaging with literature that extend beyond the genre and elements approach and also addresses potential problems or issues that teachers may confront. The book is structured around three 'mantras' that build on each other: Enjoy; Dig deeper; Take action. The practical strategies for taking a critical approach focus on issues that impact children's lives, building from students' personal experiences and cultural knowledge to using language to question the everyday world, analyze popular culture and media, understand how power relationships are socially constructed, and consider actions that can be taken to promote social justice. This book teems with pedagogical purpose. It is smart, principled, and useful. Its freshness and currency will resonate with readers and inspire their teaching. A Companion Website (www.routledge.com/cw/leland) enriches and extends the text.