Critical Handbook of Children's Literature, A

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
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Unlike an anthology of children's literature, which includes only chapters or summaries, this outstanding seventh edition teaches how to make appropriate judgments about what constitutes quality children's literature. Using the critical standards for all literature, explanations are supplemented by special issues in judging books for children. Taking readers through the definitions of literary terms by reviewing plot, character, theme, setting, point of view, style, and tone, and including special sections on censorship and the importance of reading aloud, Lukens provides sound criteria for assessing the merit of children's books. The book also includes chapters on rhymes, poetry, biography, and informational books. Emphasis is placed on multicultural literature, making it a book intended for use with a wide variety of children's books. For anyone interested in children's literature, education, language arts, and/or educational media.

Author Biography

Rebecca J. Lukens began teaching children's literature in the Department of English at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1964

Table of Contents

All chapters conclude with “Summary,” “Notes,” and “Recommended Books Cited in this Chapter.”

To the Instructor.

To the Student.

1. Literature: What Is It?
Literature for Children.

2. Genre in Children's Literature.
Formula Fiction 1.
Traditional Literature.
Informational Books.

3. Picture Books.
The Illustrative Elements of the Picture Book.
The Literary Elements of the Picture Book.
Lasting Favorites.
Wordless Picture Books.

4. Character.
Revelation of Character.
Unity of Character and Action.
Types of Characters.
Change in Character.
Special Issues of Character in Children's Literature.
Traditional Literature.
Animal Realism.
Science Fiction.

5. Plot.
Types of Narrative Order.
Types of Conflict.
Patterns of Action.
Types of Plots.
Lack of Conflict.

6. Theme.
Theme or Unifying Truth.
Special Issues of Theme in Children's Literature.

7. Setting.
Types of Settings.
Functions of Setting.
Special Issues of Setting in Children's Literature.
Traditional Literature.
Fantasy and Science Fiction.

8. Point of View.
Types of Point of View.
Special Issues of Point of View in Children's Literature.
Maturity of the Reader.
Animal Realism.
Stories of Various Cultures.

9. Style.
Devices of Style.
Special Issues of Style in Children's Literature.
Trite Versus Fresh Style.
Retellings and Translations.
Stories of Other Periods and Places.
High Fantasy.

10. Tone.
Tone in Charlotte's Web.
Differing Tastes in Tone.
Tone Related to the Author's Choice of Materials.
Special Issues of Tone in Children's Literature.
Changing Values.
Variety of Tone.

11. From Rhyme to Poetry.
Nursery Rhymes.

12. Biography.
Biography Defined.

13. Informational Books.
Nonfiction Defined.
Informational Books.
Special Issues in Informational Books for Children.
Didacticism and Propaganda.

Appendix A: Children's Book Awards.

Appendix B: Selected Magazines for Children.

Appendix C: Selected Reviewing Media for Children's Books.

Appendix D: Useful Websites.

Glossary of Literary Terms.



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