Children's Books in Children's Hands : An Introduction to Their Literature

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-23
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Pre-service and in-service teachers alike benefit from the experience of renowned authors Charles Temple, Miriam Martinez, and Junko Yokota as they share a wealth of richly illustrated, practical ideas for sharing literature with children. The authors focus on creating an understanding of how literature works and how children respond to literature, they provide a wide range of good books to use with children, and they suggest ways to guide children into books and help them enjoy the experience. Dozens of new authors and books have been added to this new edition of Children#x19;s books in Children#x19;s Hands: An Introduction to Their Literature, 4e, making it interesting and current, and the continued emphasis on cultural diversity includes a new chapter on international books.

Author Biography

Charles Temple is a banjo-picking storyteller and teacher educator at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Co-author of many books in the field of reading and language arts, including All Children Read, Understanding Reading Problems, and The Beginnings of Writing, Temple has also published several books for children. Temple has worked over the years with teachers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central and South American who are using literacy and literature to better students’ lives.


Miriam Martinez is a teacher educator at the University of Texas at San Antonio who thoroughly enjoys getting lost in good books, including children’s books. A recipient of the International Reading Association’s Arbuthnot Award which honors outstanding university teachers of children’s literature, Dr. Martinez co-edited Book Talk and Beyond: Children and Teachers Respond to Literature and What a Character! Character Study as a Gateway to Literary Understanding, both published by IRA.


Junko Yokota is a professor and director of the Center for Teaching through Children’s Books at National-Louis University in Chicago. She spent the first ten years of her career as a classroom teacher and librarian. She has published articles and review columns in a wide variety of reading/language arts and children’s literature journals, chapters in professional books, and Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8, published by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Table of Contents





Part One: Understanding Literature and the Child Reader

1. Children’s Books in Children’s Hands

What Are Good Books for Children?

What Is Children’s Literature

Issue to Consider: Even Comic Books?

Qualities of Children’s Literature

Qualities of Outstanding Children’s Literature

Ask the Critic: Betsy Hearne

Children’s Books and Childhood

Children in the Middle Ages

Children in Puritan Times

Children in the Enlightenment

The “Golden Age of Children’s Literature”

Contemporary Children’s Books

Children’s Development and Responses to Literature

Experiencing Books in Early Childhood

Experiencing Books in the Preschool and Early Primary School Years

Learning to Read

Experiencing Books in the Primary Grades

Becoming Prolific Readers

Issue to Consider: Should We Consider Reading a “Skill”?

Ask the Critic: Leonard Marcus

Experiencing Books in the Upper Elementary and Middle Grades

Reading at This Age

Censorship and Children’s Literature

Resources for Children’s Books

Bringing Children and Books Together

Experiences for Further Learning


2. Literary Elements in Works for Children

The Artistry of Literary Elements

Genre: The “Rules of the Game”

The Genres of Children’s Literature

Settings: How Do Authors Create Times and Places?

Ask the Editor: Richard W. Jackson

Settings in Folktales and Fairy Tales

Settings in Realistic Fiction

Settings as Important Features in Themselves

Characterization: How Do People Emerge from the Page?

Characters Are Developed through Their Actions

Characters Are Developed through Their Relations with Others

Characters Are Developed through Their Sense of Themselves

Characters Are Developed through the Roles They Play in the Plot

Characters Are Displayed through the Author’s Description

Round Characters and Flat Characters

Rounded Characters Undergo Changes

Plots: How Do Stories Happen?

Plots and Conflicts

Plot Structures

Recurring Plots

Episodes: Stories with Stories

The “Real” Story versus the Story as Revealed

Themes: How Do Stories Convey Meaning?

Explicit and Implicit Themes

Reading against the Grain

Issue to Consider: Are Themes Really There?

The Stance of the Implied Reader

Identifying with Characters

Taking the Intended Moral Stance

Filling in the Gaps

Point of View

Stories in the First Person

Stories in the Third Person

Issue to Consider: Do Children Need to Know Formal Literary Terms?







Visual Literacy

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



3. Picture Books

What are Picture Books?

The Evolution of Picture Books

The Development of the Concept of the Picture Book

Changes in Printing Technology

Authors and Illustrators Who Have Defined the Field

Categories of Picture Books

Early Childhood Books

Wordless Books

Picture Books with Minimal Text

Beginning Readers’ Books

Picture Storybooks

Visual Literacy

Elements of Design

Appreciating the Artistic Craft of the Picture Book

Artistic Media

Artistic Style

How Picture Storybooks Work

Picture Book Design





Picture/Text Relationships

Criteria for Evaluating Picture Books

Awards for Picture Books

Issue to Consider: Should Teachers Take the Time to Teach Students How to Interpret and “Read” the Illustrations in Picture Books?

Creators of Picture Books

Eric Carle

Leo and Diane Dillon

Lois Ehlert

Kevin Henkes

Jerry Pinkney

Maurice Sendak

William Steig

Chris Van Allsburg

Ask the Author and Illustrator: Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Rosemary Wells

David Wiesner

Ed Young

Issue to Consider: Are Picture Books Being Designed More for Adult Buyers Than for Child Readers?

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



4. Literature Representing Diverse Perspectives

Diverse Perspectives in the United States

The Role of Schools in Presenting Multiple Perspectives

Literature’s Role for Influencing the Reader’s Perspective

What is Multicultural Literature?

The Value of Multicultural Literature

Identifying Multicultural Books

Culturally Generic Books

Culturally Specific Books

Evolution of Multicultural Literature

Issues Related to Multicultural Literature

Cultural Authenticity

Perspective: Insider or Outsider

Stereotyping and Other Unacceptable Depictions of Cultural Groups

Identification of Cultural Groups

Criteria for Evaluating and Selecting Multicultural Literature

Do the Author and Illustrator Present Authentic Perspectives?

Is the Culture Portrayed Multidimensionally?

Issue to Consider: How Much Artistic License Should Be Given to Illustrators as They Create Images of a Culture?

Are Cultural Details Naturally Integrated?

Are Details Accurate and Is the Interpretation Current?

Is Language Used Authentically?

Is the Collection Balanced?

Awards for Multicultural Literature

The Coretta Scott King Award

The Pura Belpré Award

Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award

The Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature

The Asian Pacific American Literary Award

The American Indian Youth Literature Award

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award

Major Authors and Illustrators of Multicultural Literature

Alma Flor Ada

Ask the Author: Alma Flor Ada

Joseph Bruchac

Ashley Bryan

Virginia Hamilton

Ask the Author: Julius Lester

Walter Dean Myers

Allen Say

Gary Soto

Laurence Yep

Literature Portraying Other Diverse Perspectives

Literature Portraying Gender Equity and Gender Roles

Same-Sex Partners and Families with Same-Sex Parents

Literature Portraying Social Diversity

Literature about People with Exceptionalities

Educators’ Roles in Presenting Multiple and Diverse Perspectives

Understanding Diverse Perspectives through Adult Literature

Understanding Diverse Perspectives through Professional Literature

Helping Children Gain Diverse Perspectives

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



5. International Literature

What is International Literature?

Literature That Originates Outside of the United States

Literature about Other Countries, Written and Published in the United States

Evolution of International Literature

Issues Related to International Literature

Criteria for Evaluating International Literature

Intended Audience


Awards for International Literature

The Hans Christian Andersen Award

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Mildred Batchelder Award

The White Ravens Awards

Other International Book Awards

Outstanding International Books for Children

Major Authors and Illustrators of International Literature

Experiences for Further Learning

Ask the Author: Beverley Naidoo

Recommended Books




Part Two: Exploring the Genres of Children’s Literature

6. Poetry for Children

What Is Poetry?

Issue to Consider: Should We Distinguish between “Poems” and Rhymes”?

Categories of Poetry for Children

Mother Goose Rhymes and Other Rhymes of the Nursery

Why Do We Call Them “Mother Goose” Rhymes?

Jump-Rope and Counting-Out Rhymes

Folk Songs Popular among Children

Lyric or Expressive Poems

Narrative Poems

Nonsense Verse

Form Poems: Limericks

Form Poems: Haiku

Dialogue Poems

Free Verse

Poetry Collections

Novels in Verse

The Evolution of Children’s Poetry

Early Poetry for Children

More Sympathetic Voices

Contemporary Poetry for Children

The Many Voices of Children’s Poetry

Elements of Poetry






Children’s Preferences in Poetry

How Can We Expand Children’s Taste in Poetry?

Issue to Consider: How Do We Keep Children’s Liking for Poetry Alive?

Major Children’s Poets and Their Works

Nikki Grimes

Ask the Poet: Nikki Grimes

Naomi Shihab Nye

Ask the Poet: Naomi Shihab Nye

Paul Janeczko

Janet Wong

Douglas Florian

Jack Prelutsky

Shel Silverstein

Lee Bennett Hopkins

The National Council of Teachers of English Award for Poetry for Children

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



7. Traditional Literature

What is Traditional Literature?

The Value of Traditional Literature

How Traditional Literature Works

Settings in Traditional Literature

Characters in Traditional Literature

Contrasts in Folk Tales

Plots in Traditional Literature


The Role of the Reader in Traditional Literature

Visual Depictions of Traditional Literature

The Evolution of Traditional Literature

The Oral Tradition

Stories and Culture: Mythos and Logos

Retellers of National Folk Tales

Ask the Librarian: Margaret Read MacDonald

Charles Perrault

The Brothers Grimm

Joseph Jacobs

Hans Christian Andersen

Folklore and Folk Tales in America

Types of Folk Literature

Cumulative Tales

Animal Tales and Trickster Tales

Humorous Tales

Tall Tales

Ghost Stories

Fairy Tales

Issue to Consider: Are Tales of Stereotyped Strong Men and Wilting Women Still Worth Sharing with Today’s Children?

Realistic Tales


Epics and Ballads



Pour Quoi Tales

Religious Stories

Literary Tales

Traditional Literature from Many Cultures

Classical Myths from Greece and Rome

Traditional Tales from the British Isles

German Traditional Tales

Jewish Folktales

Scandinavian Traditional Tales

French Traditional Tales

Russian Folktales

Folklore from North America

Ask the Author: Joseph Bruchac

Ask the Author: Patricia C. McKissack

Hispanic Folklore

Middle Eastern Folklore

African Folklore

Asian Folklore

Folklore across Cultures

Derivative Folk Literature

Criteria for Evaluating Traditional Literature

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



8. Modern Fantasy and Science Fiction

Modern Fantasy and Science Fiction Defined

Definition of Modern Fantasy

Definition of Science Fiction

Distinction between Fantasy and Science Fiction

The Evolution of Modern Fantasy

Categories of Modern Fantasy

Personified Animals

Personified Toys

Outlandish Characters and Situations

Magical Powers

Embellished Fairy Tales

Extraordinary Worlds

Supernatural Elements

Time Slips

High Fantasy

How Fantasy Works





Issue to Consider: Can Reading Fantasy Be Inappropriate for Children?

Criteria for Evaluating Modern Fantasy

Major Writers of Fantasy and Their Works

Lloyd Alexander

Susan Cooper

Bruce Coville

Ask the Author: Bruce Coville

Roald Dahl

Cornelia Funke

Brian Jacques

Diana Wynne Jones

Philip Pullman

J. K. Rowling

Jane Yolen

Ask the Author: Jane Yolen

Other Notable Writers of Modern Fantasy

The Evolution of Science Fiction

Categories of Science Fiction

Projecting Scientific Principles

Utopian and Dystopian Societies

Surviving Environmental Catastrophes

Science Fantasies

How Science Fiction Works

Criteria for Evaluating Science Fiction

Awards for Fantasy and Science Fiction

Major Writers of Science Fiction and Their Works

Peter Dickinson

Robert A. Heinlein

Madeleine L’Engle

William Sleator

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books: Fantasy

Recommended Books: Science Fiction



9. Contemporary Realistic Fiction

What Is Contemporary Realistic Fiction?

The Value of Contemporary Realistic Fiction

The Evolution of Realistic Fiction

The Nineteenth Century

The Twentieth Century

From New Realism to Diverse Perspectives

Issue to Consider: Are Contemporary Books Too Realistic?

Categories of Realistic Fiction

Books about Self-Discovery and Growing Up

Books about Families and Family Diversity

Books about Interpersonal Relations

Books about School

Books about Sports

Books about Nature and Animals

Books about Adventure and Survival

Books about Romance and Sexuality

Books about Mental, Physical, Emotional, and Other Challenges

Books about Moral Dilemmas and Moral Responsibility

Books about Social Diversity and Society

Books about Aging, Death, and Dying

Mystery and Suspense Books

Humorous Books

Series Books

Books with Multicultural and International Themes

Books That Are Magical Realism

How Contemporary Realistic Fiction Works





Point of View

Criteria for Evaluating Realistic Fiction

Major Writers of Realistic Fiction and Their Works


Judy Blume

Beverly Cleary

Ask the Author: Sharon Creech

E. L. Konigsburg

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Katherine Paterson

Gary Paulson

Cynthia Rylant

Cynthia Voigt

Vera Williams

Jacqueline Woodson

Charlotte Zolotow

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



10. Historical Fiction

What is Historical Fiction?

Time Periods Emphasized in Historical Fiction

Value of Historical Fiction

Issue to Consider: Does Historical Fiction Have a Place in the Study of History?

The Evolution of Historical Fiction


Historical Perspective

Subject Matter

Picture Books

Ask the Author: Richard Peck

Historical Fiction Series

Categories of Historical Fiction

Fictionalized Memoirs

Fictionalized Family History

Fiction Based on Research

How Historical Fiction Works




Ask the Author: Katherine Paterson


Criteria for Evaluating Historical Fiction

Major Writers of Historical Fiction and Their Works

Christopher Paul Curtis

Karen Cushman

Karen Hesse

Uri Orlev

Linda Sue Park

Richard Peck

Mildred Taylor

Awards for Historical Fiction

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



11. Informational Books and Biography by Evelyn B. Freeman

What Are Informational Books?

The Evolution of Informational Books

Issue to Consider: Is It Acceptable to Fictionalize Informational Books?

Categories of Informational Books

Concept Books


Understanding Peoples and Cultures


The Arts

Discovering How Things Work

Sports, Recreation, and How-to Books

Series Books

How Informational Books Work

Major Writers of Informational Books and Their Works

George Ancona

Joanna Cole

Gail Gibbons

James Cross Giblin

Steve Jenkins

Kathryn Lasky

Patricia Lauber

Ask the Author: James Cross Giblin

Milton Meltzer

Jim Murphy

Laurence Pringle

Seymour Simon

Criteria for Evaluating Informational Books

What is Biography?

The Evolution of Biography

Categories of Biography

Partial Biographies

Complete Biographies

Collective Biographies

Autobiographies and Memoirs

Picture Book Biographies

Biographies: The Lives of All Kinds of People

How Biographies Work

Major Writers of Biographies and Their Works

David Adler

Russell Freedman

Jean Fritz

Diane Stanley

Criteria for Evaluating Biographies

Awards for Informational Books and Biographies

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books




Part Three: Creating the Literature-Based Classroom

12. Literary Meaning-Making and Children’s Responses to Literature

Response to Literature

A Model of Literary Meaning-Making

Research on Children’s Responses to Literature

Diverse Perspectives on Reader Response

Developmental Perspective on Reader Response

Social Perspective on Reader Response

Cultural Perspective on Reader Response

Ask the Author: Pat Mora

Textual Perspective on Reader Response

Issue to Consider: Should Teachers Encourage Students to Focus on Author’s Craft during Literature Discussion?

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



13. Inviting Children into Literature: Classroom Libraries, Read-Alouds, and Storytelling

The Classroom Library

Designing the Classroom Library Center

Stocking the Classroom Library with Books

Issue to Consider: Do Computerized Reading Management Systems Have a Place in a Literacy Program?

Reading Aloud to Children

Teacher-Librarian Partnership: Information Literacy Standards

Research on Read-Aloud Programs

The Read-Aloud Experience

Stories and Storytelling

Storytelling: The Tenacious Art

Ask the Author: Jim Aylesworth

Common Story Types: Personal Tales to Tall Tales

Learning Stories to Tell

Ask the Author: W. Nikola-Lisa

Other Dimensions of the Literature-Rich Classroom


Author Visits

Teaching Ideas

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



14. Encouraging Response to Literature

Talking in Response to Literature

Issue to Consider: Should the Teacher Participate in Children’s Literature Circle Conversations?

Creating an Opportunity for “Grand Conversations”

Organizing Literature Circles

Ask the Educator: Pat Scharer

Teacher-Librarian Partnership: The Nuts and Bolts

Roles of the Teacher in Literary Discussions

Ask the Educator: Roxanne Henkin

Instructional Strategies to Foster Grand Conversations

Writing in Response to Literature

Free Response Journals

Prompted Response Journals

Literary Journals

Dialogue Journals

Fostering Response through Visual Sign Systems

Invitations to Respond through Art

Promoting Response through Graphic Organizers

Responding through Drama

Story Theater

Readers Theater

Creative Dramatics

Responding to Poetry

Making Songs and Poems a Part of the School Day

Encouraging Responses to Poetry

Choral Reading and Reciting

Inviting Children to Write Poetry

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



15. Literary and Content Units

Literary Units

The Power of Literary Units

Ask the Educator: Nancy Roser

Developing Different Types of Literary Units

Organizing Literary Units

Literature Across the Curriculum

Need for Children’s Literature in the Content Areas

Issue to Consider: Should Historical Fiction Have a Place in Social Studies Instruction?

Organizing Literature-Based Content Units

Teacher-Librarian Partnership: Partnerships for Literacy

Experiences for Further Learning

Recommended Books



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