Aesthetic Approaches to Children's Literature: An Introduction

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As undergraduate and graduate courses in children's literature become more established and numerous, there is an intense need for a textbook that offers aesthetic rather than educational approaches to children's literature. This work fills that void by providing students of children's literature with a comprehensible and easy-to-use analytical tool kit, showing through concrete demonstration how each tool might best be used. The chapters are organized around familiar and easily recognized features of literary texts (e.g. author, genre, character). Theoretical issues are illustrated by specific texts from the North American children's literature canon. The book explores the particular aesthetics of children's fiction and the ways critical theory may be applied to children's texts, while remaining accessible to a college readership without prior specialized knowledge of literary theory. Each chapter includes a short introduction to a specific theoretical approach (e.g. semiotics, feminist, psychoanalytic), an example of its application to a literary text, a number of activities (study questions, reading exercises), and suggestions for further explorations.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Nikolajeva's latest critical offering is less scholarly in voice than her previous writings, a fact that makes Aesthetic Approaches more accessible and usable. Every chapter discusses a single element of the literary text-authorship, composition, and character are three examples-and provides an overview of theoretical and critical issues related to each one in children's literature, while each topic includes discussion questions and suggestions for critical exercises with well-known children's titles. These inclusions make it clear that this book can be well used in a children's literature course. Chapter-specific bibliographies (divided by source type and subject) at the end of each chapter as well as a grand bibliography at the back of the book are helpful. This resource would be a remarkable addition to children's literature research collections.-Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810854260
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/12/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 379,596
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Maria Nikolajeva is Professor of Comparative Literature at Stockholm University (Sweden) and associate professor of comparative literature at Åbo Akademi University (Finland). She has been member of the North American Children's Literature Association since 1985 and has served on its International Committee. She is also the author of From Mythic to Linear: Time in Children's Literature (Scarecrow, 2000) and The Rhetoric of Character in Children's Literature (Scarecrow, 2002).

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Preface Part 2 Introduction: Do We Need a Separate Aesthetics for Children's Literature? Chapter 3 1 The Aesthetic of the Author Chapter 4 2 The Aesthetic of the Work Chapter 5 3 The Aesthetic of the Genre Chapter 6 4 The Aesthetic of the Content Chapter 7 5 The Aesthetic of Composition Chapter 8 6 The Aesthetic of the Scene Chapter 9 7 The Aesthetic of Character Chapter 10 8 The Aesthetic of Narration Chapter 11 9 The Aesthetic of Language Chapter 12 10 The Aesthetic of the Medium Chapter 13 11 The Aesthetic of the Reader Chapter 14 12 Conclusion: Which Tool Shall I Choose? Part 15 Bibliography Part 16 Index Part 17 Subject and Name Index Part 18 Title Index Part 19 About the Author

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